Pakistan crash to Zaheer and Ganguly

Published: Sunday, November 25, 2007, 12:37 [IST]
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Fast bowler Zaheer Khan and part-time seamer Sourav Ganguly shared four wickets to boost India's hopes of winning the opening Test against Pakistan here on Saturday.

Pakistan, resuming at 212-5, were all out for 247 in their second innings after a disappointing batting performance on a crucial fourth morning. They set India a modest 203-run target to win the match.

India lost opener Dinesh Karthik in fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's opening over before reaching 3-1 in their second innings at lunch. Wasim Jaffer was batting on two at the break with Rahul Dravid, who had yet to open his account.

Pakistan were undone by poor shot-selection as they lost five wickets for a meagre 35 runs, with Zaheer starting the slide with two wickets in his opening spell and Ganguly taking two in one over with the second new ball.

The tourists' hopes of setting a challenging fourth-innings target receded sharply when overnight batsman Kamran Akmal (21) and debutant Sohail Tanvir (13) fell playing strokes when it was the time to stay at the wicket.

India did not have to wait long for their first success as Zaheer struck in his opening over to remove Akmal, caught driving away from the body by substitute Yuvraj Singh at point.

Left-handed Tanvir was tested with short-pitched deliveries by Zaheer before losing his patience and wicket. He mistimed a pull off Zaheer and was caught by Harbhajan Singh who ran back to take a well-judged catch at square-leg.

Misbah, top scorer in the first innings with 82, was then left only with tailenders. He defied the Indian attack for more than an hour before falling to a rash stroke.

The middle-order batsman, 29 overnight, went for a big shot off Ganguly's first delivery with the new ball but failed to time it properly and was caught by Karthik running back from mid-on.

Mohammad Sami was caught by Jaffer in the same over before India ended Pakistan's innings by running out last-man Danish Kaneria.

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