Double blows puts Pak in back seat

Published: Monday, December 10, 2007, 15:38 [IST]
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Bangalore: Spinner Harbhajan Singh and seamer Irfan Pathan shared two big wickets to rattle Pakistan in the third and final Test against India here at the Chinnaswami Stadium on Monday.

Pakistan lost well-set Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf in the space of six runs before reaching 265-4 in their first innings at tea on the third day in reply to India's 626.

The tourists, trailing 1-0 in the series, now need 162 more runs to avoid a follow-on. Misbah-ul-Haq (17) and Faisal Iqbal (14) were unbeaten at the interval.

Pakistan were comfortably placed at 221-2 midway through the afternoon session when stand-in captain Younis (80) was bowled attempting a reverse-sweep off spinner Harbhajan, bowling round the stumps.

Younis, leading the side in a second successive Test in place of unfit Shoaib Malik, looked solid during his 156-ball knock before playing one reverse-sweep too many.

He had played the same shot with success on a couple of occasions in the morning session, but missed the line this time. He struck 12 fours in his 20th half-century.

Younis, who scored a match-saving century in the previous Test in Kolkata, sustained his team's hopes of averting the follow-on with a 90-run stand for the second wicket with Salman Butt (68) and 72 for the next with Yousuf (24).

Pakistan suffered another setback when left-arm seamer Pathan had Yousuf caught driving by Yuvraj Singh at gully, just a few deliveries after the batsman and India skipper Anil Kumble had exchanged words.

India struggled for wickets in the two-hour morning session on a placid track as Younis batted confidently against both pace and spin to help his team add 94 runs to their overnight total of 86-1.

It was part-time seamer Sourav Ganguly who provided the much-needed breakthrough when he dismissed left-handed opener Butt, who could add only 18 to his overnight score of 50.

Kumble turned to Ganguly after pacemen Pathan and Ishant Sharma had failed to keep pressure on the batsmen in the opening hour.

Ganguly, who scored a maiden Test double-century on Sunday, did not let his captain down when he had Butt caught behind in his fourth over, much to the delight of his team-mates.

Brief Scores (at tea, D-3):

India Ist innings 626 Vs Pakistan Ist innings 265/4 (Younis 80, Butt 68, Mohd Yousuf 24, Misbah 17*; Pathan 1 for 46, Harbhajan 1 for 43, Kumble 1 for 58, Ganguly 1 for 15).


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