Misbah steadies Pakistan after Rampaul burst

Published: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 1:00 [IST]
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Misbah steadies Pak after Rampaul burst

Basseterre (Saint Kitts), May 20: Pakistan reached 106 for four in their first innings when rain forced an early tea in the second Test against West Indies today.

Azhar Ali was not out on 36 and Umar Akmal was not out on 23, trying to continue the salvage operations for the Pakistanis after they ran into early strife on the weather-affected opening day at Warner Park.

Misbah-ul-Haq added an even 50 for the fourth wicket with Azhar, resurrecting the visitors from a shaky 24 for three inside the first hour of the day.

The Pakistan captain got things going after lunch when he carved Kemar Roach to the third man boundary for his second four and Azhar drove Bishoo fluently through extra cover for his second four in the next over.

In the following over, Misbah took a pair of boundaries off Roach, steering a delivery to third man, and cutting a short, wide delivery through backward point.

But Misbah was caught low down at mid-on for 25 off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, essaying an ill-advised on-drive, leaving Pakistan 74 for four.

Akmal came to the crease and immediately got into the thick of things with a flick through backward square leg for his first boundary, then drove Ravi Rampaul sweetly through cover off the back-foot for his second four.

He and Azhar however, were interrupted, when rain stopped play about 40 minutes before the scheduled tea break.

Before lunch, Pakistan''s top-order batting was again undermined by Rampaul as the visitors limped to 46 for three.

The visitors were left reeling, following a devastating opening burst from Rampaul, who claimed all three scalps before the interval.

Greeted by a hard, true pitch, Pakistan were set back when Taufeeq Umar was caught behind for 11, too late in lifting his gloves out of the way of a rising delivery in Rampaul''s fourth over.

The Pakistanis were under further pressure, when Mohammad Hafeez edged a forward defensive shot and was caught at third slip for eight in the West Indies fast-medium bowler''s fifth over.

Asad Shafiq then cut a short, wide delivery and was caught at gully for a duck in Rampaul''s seventh over to leave Pakistan wobbling, but Azhar and Misbah stemmed the fall of wickets until after lunch.

The Pakistanis made one change, replacing Umar Gul with left-arm fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed.

West Indies suffered a setback with veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul sidelined with a sore shoulder to be replaced by Marlon Samuels as one of two changes to their squad.

The other sees Kraigg Brathwaite making his debut at the expense of left-hander Devon Smith, and is the fifth youngest West Indies Test player ever.

Pakistan trail 1-0 in the two-Test series, following a 40-run defeat inside four days in the first Test, which ended last Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, crushing the visitors'' dreams of a maiden Test series victory in the Caribbean.


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