Seven-wicket Kumble spins India to victory in second Test
by AFP

Ground:Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:A Kumble, Asim Kamal
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 20th March 2005


Wily leg-spinner Anil Kumble trapped Pakistan on a slow turning track to script India's 195-run victory with a seven-wicket haul in the second Test at the Eden Gardens.


Kumble wrecked Pakistan's middle order with his shrewd variations to finish with 7-63 as the tourists were bowled out for 226 on the fifth and final day chasing a huge 422-run target to concede a 1-0 lead in the three-match series here on Sunday.


The 34-year-old spinner ensured there would not be a repeat of Mohali where Pakistan had drawn the opening Test from a losing position.


Kumble, who took all 10 wickets in a Test innings against Pakistan at Delhi in 1999, revived unhappy memories for the tourists as he struck with his first ball before completing his 29th haul of five or more scalps in an innings.


This was the seventh time he had taken 10 or more wickets in a Test, having captured three in the first innings.


Pakistan's chances of chasing the massive target receded sharply when they lost three big wickets in the space of 20 runs in the first hour after resuming at 95-1, with Kumble grabbing two and paceman Laxmipathy Balaji one.


Only three teams -- the West Indies (2003), India (1976) and Australia (1948) -- have so far scored more than 400 in the fourth innings to win a Test in the history of the game.


The stage was set for an exciting day's play when Pakistan resumed batting this morning needing 327 more runs in 90 overs, but the tourists failed to rise to the occasion.


Pakistan needed a couple of big knocks to boost their hopes on a pitch which was good for batting despite offering slow turn, but only Asim Kamal offered stiff resistance with a solid 50 for his sixth half-century.


Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2-51) completed India's first win over Pakistan in six Tests at this venue when he bowled Danish Kaneria in the final session in front of nearly 40,000 spectators to spark celebrations in the stands.


Pakistan had no option but to bat for a draw after losing first-innings century-maker Younis Khan (nought), in-form skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq (13) and Taufeeq Umar (35) in the morning.


Kumble began the slide when he had Younis stumped by Dinesh Karthik with the first ball of the day and then removed Inzamam, who played the delivery on to his stumps.


Karthik played a key role in the first dismissal as he smartly gathered a Kumble delivery going down the leg-side to remove the bails, with Younis out of the crease after missing an attempted on-drive.


Umar was caught by Virender Sehwag at second slip off Balaji to leave his team wobbling at 115-4.


Pressure became the name of the game as Kumble never allowed the batsmen to settle down, bowling with as many as four fielders close to the bat.


Pakistan eventually failed to cope with the pressure and were left chasing a mirage when they lost reliable middle-order batsman Yousuf Youhana (22), Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal in the post-lunch session.


Youhana was caught by Gautam Gambhir at short-leg to become Kumble's fourth victim while Razzaq (six) and Akmal (seven), Pakistan's saviour in the first Test, could not repeat their performance.


Razzaq was bowled by Kumble and Akmal by Harbhajan to leave Pakistan closer to defeat which came 22 minutes after tea.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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