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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Gul gives Pakistan edge
Second Test, Lahore, day one, close
Pakistan 61-1; India 287

Gul gets the ball rolling by dismissing opener Virender Sehwag

A fine spell from Umar Gul, who took a Test-best haul of 5-31, gave Pakistan the edge on a day of fluctuating fortunes in the second Test.

Pakistan reached 61-1 at stumps after Yuvraj Singh had dragged India from a desperate position of 147-7 to 287 all out with his maiden Test ton.

Yuvraj was last man out for 112, having added 117 with youngster Irfan Pathan (49) in a gutsy eighth wicket stand.

Their partnership followed some superb bowling from the 19-year-old Gul.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid had no hesitation in opting to bat first on winning the toss, but a generous grass covering gave enough encouragement for Pakistan's fast bowlers.

Mohammad Sami was the first of them to strike, when his sixth ball, the 12th of the match, was too much for Indian opener Akash Chopra, who was out lbw.

That reverse was swiftly put to one side, however, as Virender Sehwag launched into a series of off-side boundaries off Sami and Shoaib Akhtar.

One shot from Sehwag disappeared for six over point, while he was also able to play some fine drives off both front and back foot.

Yuvraj on reaching three figures
Yuvraj on reaching three figures

It was the introduction of Gul which changed everything.

Moments after the first drinks break he took his first wicket after Sehwag and Dravid had added 64 for the second wicket.

Sehwag was the man to go, nicking a flat-footed defensive shot to be caught behind for 39.

In Gul's following over, Sachin Tendulkar was lbw for just two, deceived by a delivery that cut back into him, while VVS Laxman tamely edged into the slip cordon to fall for just 11.

After lunch, Gul grabbed another vital wicket as a ball pitching just outside off-stump and holding its line was nicked by Dravid (33) to Inzamam-ul-Haq at first slip.

Shoaib got in on the act by removing the clueless Ajit Agarkar, but there were to be no further successes for Pakistan in the second session.

Gul's injury hardly helped matters with only four bowlers selected and the lone spinner, Danish Kaneria, coming in for some severe treatment for Yuvraj.

The left-hander swept and drove him for two effortless sixes, having also looked untroubled against the seam bowlers.

Dropped on 97 by the inexperienced wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, Yuvraj went on to reach three figures with a single off Sami soon after tea.

At that point, however, he lost Pathan for a Test-best 49 and then Laksmipathy Balaji for a duck.

After collecting a few more runs, a tiring Yuvraj finally lofted Kaneria to deep mid-wicket to be last man out for 112.

Pakistan had 23 overs of batting before stumps, in which the openers rode their luck at times to put on 47 for the first wicket before Balaji bowled Taufeeq for 24.

The home side had been forced to make four changes from the side beaten in Multan by an innings.

Wicket-keeper Moin Khan, fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq were all injured while Saqlain Mushtaq was dropped.

For India, the injured quick Zaheer Khan was replaced by Agarkar.

Pakistan: Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Yousuf Youhana, Kamran Akmal (wkt), Asim Kamal, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul.

India: A Chopra, V Sehwag, V V S Laxman, S R Tendulkar R Dravid (captain), Yuvraj Singh, P A Patel (wkt), A Agarkar, A Kumble, I K Pathan, L Balaji.

Umpires: Steve Bucknor, Simon Taufel.

BBC Sport's Chris Florence
"A fine day of Test cricket"


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