REVIEW OF PAKISTAN - INDIA TEST SERIES
In International Cricket Pakistan India Contests are considered as biggest show down after 'Ashes'. The recent test series therefore was most demanding and challenging for both teams. At the outset Indians were in high spirit after their 2-0 convincing victory over Srilanka at home and similarly the morale of host team was soaring high having had trounced England by an identical margin in their last series. Generally it was expected that the series will be a tough and exciting contest. But contrary to this belief the series commenced on a dull note. The first two tests were tamely drawn after huge scores were amassed by the two teams. 2770 runs were scored only for the loss of 36 wickets in the two encounters. This result was mainly attributed to the dead pitches and the curators were severely criticized. It was felt that Pakistan failed to capitalize on their superior bowling potential only by preparing docile and placid wickets. Pakistan however bounced back in the third and final test at Karachi where a sporting pitch was laid and they clinched the test by a record margin of 341 runs. Here under is brief review of the three matches.
LAHORE JANUARY 13-17-2006
Inzamamul Haq won the toss and Pakistan batted till good part of the second day to amass 679-7 declared in 143.3 overs. Younis Khan (199), Shahid Afridi (103) and Kamran Akmal (102 Not Out) scored centuries while Muhammad Yousuf (87) and Shoaib Malik (59) notched up fifties. Despite the game was marred by bad weather India gave Pakistan a befitting reply and in 77.2 possible overs they rattled up 410 runs only for the loss of Virender Sehwag (254 off 247 balls) when play called off on the final day. Skipper Rahul Dravid remained Unbeaten on 128.
FAISALABAD JANUARY 21-25:
Pakistan once again won the toss and scored 588 in 136.2 overs. Shahid Afridi was again scourge of Indian Bowling and scored 156 off 128 balls with the help of twenty hits to the fence and six over it. Inzamamul Haq (119) earned his 25th test century, other principal scorers were Younis Khan (83) and Muhammad Yousuf (65). Debutante, left arm medium pacer R.P Singh claimed 4 for 89. The docile pitch did not help the Pakistan bowlers either and on their turn India merrily piled up 603. India’s Man to match Shahid Afridi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni Struck 148 from 152 balls, blasting 19 fours and 6 sixes. Rahul Dravid (103) notched up his 22nd hundred in tests and V.V.S Laxman and Irfan Pathan scored superb 90’s. India earned slender lead of 15 runs and there after in most of the remaining time Pakistan batsmen collared the Indian attack and collected yet another big total of 490 runs. Younis Khan (194) for the second time in the series missed double ton and Mohammad Yousuf hammered brilliant 126, Kamran Akmal usefully contributed with 78. Zaheer Khan claimed 4 for 61. India were 21 for none when the match petered out as a draw.
KARACHI JANUARY 29 FEBRUARY 2, 2006.
Till the teams reached Karachi there was not much difference between the two teams and incidentally that situation continued till the completion of first innings of this test as well. Pakistan scored 245 and India surrendered a narrow 7 runs lead. Nevertheless Irfan Pathan with a first ever first over hat trick in tests gave India a sensational start. Collapsed and 6 down for 39 Pakistan were in dire straits but later Kamran Akmal (113), Abdul Razzaq (45) and Shoaib Akhtar (45) vastly retrieved the situation. Pakistan were bowled out for 245 on the first day but by the close of play they had neutralized the Indian advantage by removing Indian top-order (74/4). India was ultimately dismissed for 238 on the next day. There after Pakistan grabbed the chance with both hands and they went on to built up a huge score of 599 for 7 declared in their second innings. Young Faisal Iqbal Scored brilliant 139 and there were six other half centuries in their innings, Mohammad Yousuf (97) Abdul Razzaq (90) Younis Khan (77) Shahid Afirdi (60), Imran Farhat (57), and Salman Butt (53). Left to achieve a herculean task India only struggled to reach 265 despite a heroic knock of 122 by Youvraj Singh. Abdul Razzaq and Muhammad Asif bagged seven wickets each in the match. By margin of runs (341) this was Pakistan's biggest ever victory, which gave Pakistan their first series win in almost 19 years since their last against India in 1987. After the end of current series summary of results of India - Pakistan tests is as under:
(1952-53 TO DATE)
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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