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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 12:00 GMT
Balaji gives India edge in Mohali
First Test, Mohali, day one (close):
Pakistan 312 v India

Laskshmipathy Balaji
Balaji proved he is back to full fitness after injury problems

Paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji took five wickets in a Test innings for the first time as India bowled out Pakistan for 312 on the opening day in Mohali.

He trapped Naved-ul-Hasan lbw to finish with 5-76 as India justified skipper Sourav Ganguly's decision to put Pakistan in after winning the toss.

Asim Kamal hit 14 fours to rescue the tourists from 156-5 but was bowled for 91 by Balaji with the second new ball.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq made 57 before falling lbw to Anil Kumble.

Leg-spinner Kumble, the sole spinner included in the Indian side on a green wicket, also had Kamran Akmal caught at slip for 15 in the final session.

And he provided a valuable counterpoint to the three seamers, who had given India the upper hand in the early part of the day.

Irfan Pathan made the initial breakthrough when he bowled Salman Butt for five in the seventh over of play and new ball partner Zaheer Khan accounted for new Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan, who was lbw for nine.

Asim Kamal
Inzamam told me to stay at the wicket and wait for the loose delivery and I did exactly that
Asim Kamal

Inzamam and Taufeeq Umar had the task of rebuilding the innings and their partnership realised 69 runs before Balaji bowled Taufeeq off the inside edge for 44 shortly before the lunch interval.

More bad news followed for Pakistan in the third over of the resumption when Yousuf Youhana edged a catch to keeper Dinesh Karthik off Pathan after making only six.

But there were some fine strokes played by the Pakistan batsmen, who added 100 to the total during the afternoon.

It came at a cost, however, as Inzamam, having reached his half century off 72 balls with seven fours, played down the wrong line to Kumble's top-spinner, giving the umpire an easy lbw decision.

Abdul Razzaq was in typically aggressive mood, hitting five fours in reaching 26 off 24 balls but a poor shot cost him his wicket to the last ball before tea as an airy waft resulted in him edging Balaji to the keeper.

Once Akmal had gone with the total on 239, Pakistan's prospects of reaching 300 looked remote, with only the tail to come.

Kamal survived a chance to VVS Laxman at cover on 79 and he added 43 valuable runs for the eight wicket with Mohammad Sami before the latter was bowled for 20 by a perfect Balaji leg-cutter.

Four overs later and the home supporters were celebrating once more as Balaji's accuracy was again rewarded when Kamal played across the line, ending his innings after almost four hours at the crease.

It was the second time the left-hander had been dismissed in the 90s in Tests, having made 99 in his debut game against South Africa in 2003.

Pakistan were left to rely on their last pair to survive the day but Balaji had other ideas, removing Naved for 11 to leave Danish Kaneria on eight not out.

India: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Dinesh Karthik, Ifran Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Laxmipathy Balaji.

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Taufeeq Umar, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Sami, Danish Kaneria, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

Umpires: D Hair (Aus), R Koertzen (SA).


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