Razzaq impresses in Pakistan's tour opener
by AFP

Ground:Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharmasala
Scorecard:Indian Board President's XI v Pakistanis
Player:Abdul Razzaq, M Kaif, Asim Kamal, DS Jadhav, Mohammad Sami

DateLine: 4th March 2005


Pakistani allrounder Abdul Razzaq warmed up for the upcoming Test series against India with an aggressive half-century in the tour opener here.


Razzaq Friday hammered an 82-ball 63 with two sixes and 10 fours as Pakistan were all out for 273 in their first innings after resuming at 165-5 on the second day of a three-day match against a Board President's team.


Pakistan could not get much-needed bowling practice ahead of the first Test against India as they sent down just 22.2 overs before bad light stopped play.


The hosts reached 91-1 in reply at stumps, with Test-discard Mohammad Kaif batting on 42 and opener Dheeraj Jadhav on 30.


The opening match of a three-Test series begins at Mohali on March 8.


Earlier, Razzaq held the innings together with his impressive knock and helped Pakistan add 104 runs for the last four wickets after the tourists had been struggling at 169-6 in the morning session.


Razzaq applied himself well on a low, slow pitch, using his feet effectively against spinners to help his team reach a respectable total. He punished off-spinner Venugopala Rao, smashing the bowler for two sixes.


Pakistan lost overnight batsman Asim Kamal (43) early in the day, but Razzaq steadied the innings with a 59-run stand for the seventh wicket with Kamran Akmal (34).


Razzaq was the last man to be dismissed, caught at the mid-wicket boundary by Rao off left-arm spinner Neeraj Patel.


He was the lone Pakistani batsman to gain valuable practice as none of his team-mates could score a half-century in the only warm-up game before the first Test.


Pakistan's bowlers struggled after getting an early breakthrough as Kaif and Jadhav batted confidently during their 74-run stand for the unfinished second wicket.


Mohammad Sami, key Pakistani paceman in the absence of injured Shoaib Akhtar, conceded 28 runs in his six overs.


Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, expected to play a major role in the Test series, could bowl just three overs before bad light stopped play in the afternoon session.


Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the lone wicket-taker, dismissing opener Satyajit Parab for 11.


Pakistan will also play six one-day internationals on their first tour of India in six years.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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