Blazing Afridi, Inzamam flay India in second Test
by AFP

Ground:Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
Scorecard:Pakistan v India
Player:MS Dhoni, Z Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, RP Singh, Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi
Event:India in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 21st January 2006


Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul Haq plundered India's attack to help Pakistan wrest the initiative in the second Test here on Saturday.


Afridi (85) and skipper Inzamam (79) were unbeaten at stumps as Pakistan reached 379-4 on the opening day to blow away the good work by rookie Indian paceman Rudra Pratap Singh.


Singh, who took 3-77, derailed the home team from 207-2 to 216-4 before Inzamam and Afridi took charge with an unfinished 163-run stand for the fifth wicket under bright sunshine which allowed the alloted 90 overs of play.


Afridi, who notched his fourth Test hundred in the drawn first Test in Lahore, was once again in a punishing mood as he took the Indian attack apart towards the end of the day.


Afridi hit Irfan Pathan for 22 runs, including two successive sixes and a four, in the fifth over with the second new ball and has so far smashed 11 boundaries and three sixes during his 84-ball innings.


Inzamam, who hit centuries in each innings against England at this venue in November but managed just one run against the Indians in Lahore, looked in fine touch with nine boundaries.


The Afridi-Inzamam partnership revived Pakistan's innings after it was briefly threatened by Singh.


Singh, who played eight one-day internationals last year, had Younis Khan caught superbly at point by a leaping Yuvraj Singh in his second spell after lunch.


Younis, who hit 199 in Lahore, smashed 13 boundaries during his knock of 83 before he fell to Yuvraj's agility in the field.


Mohammad Yousuf, who scored 173 in the first Test, compiled eight boundaries and a six in 65 before he edged Singh to wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni.


Singh's double strike came just when Pakistan had threatened to post a big total after winning the toss at the Iqbal stadium.


Singh's other victim was opener Shoaib Malik, who scored 19 before he failed to keep his bat down while ducking a short ball and the edge was well taken by Indian skipper Rahul Dravid at first slip.


Malik and Salman Butt put on 49 for the first wicket before Zaheer Khan, the third left-arm seamer in the Indian team had Butt caught by Dhoni for 37.


Earlier, India omitted former captain Sourav Ganguly in a bold move to play five specialist bowlers.


Ganguly, a controversial selection for the tour, was reportedly played in the first Test under instruction from India's cricket chiefs after coach Greg Chappell wanted him to sit out.


Talented paceman Mohammad Asif, who played his only Test against Australia last year, and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq replaced seamers Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved in the Pakistan team.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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