Arafat treble puts India in trouble

Published: Saturday, December 8, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Debutanat Pak seamer Yasir Arafat rattled India with three quick wickets to help his side seize early initiative in the third and final Test at the Chinnaswami Stadium, Bangalore on Saturday.

The right-arm seamer dismissed the in-form opener Jaffer (17), Dravid (19) and Laxman (5) in a disciplined opening spell as hosts struggled to reach 65/4 at lunch in their first essay at lunch on opening day. Sourav Ganguly (12) and Yuvraj (0) were at the crease.

Skipper Kumble's decision to bat first on a seaming wicket backfired as Pak seamers made most of the moisture on the Bangalore strip.

The first change bowler Arafat struck in his third over when he consumed Dravid caught by Misbah at first slip. In the following over he trapped in-form batsman Jaffer plumb in-front with a full length delivery that kept straight and hit India opener below knee.

He then had the dangerous Laxman with a short of good length and on the off that kept low to beat VVS all ends up to rearrenge the timberwork.

Mohd Sami sent Gambhir (5) packing in his fourth over when he induced Gambhir to edge the short of length ball that was nipping away for a simple caught-behind.

Earlier hosts made four changes after their ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar, wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni and new-ball bowlers Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel ruled out due to injuries.

In-form batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh and pacemen Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma were named in the side.

Pakistan, who staged a spectacular fightback to draw the second Test in Kolkata, made one change with left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir making way for all-rounder Yasir Arafat, who is making his debut.

Younis Khan will again stand in for injured captain Shoaib Malik while fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami have recovered from the injuries that hampered them during the previous game.

India lead the three-match Test series 1-0 after clinching the first Test by six wickets at Delhi.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-1):

India Ist innings 65 for 4 (Dravid 19, Jaffer 17, Ganguly 12 n o; Arafat 3 for 22, Mohd Sami 1 for 26) Vs Pakistan.


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