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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 12:09 GMT
India keep Pakistan to slim lead
First Test, Mohali, day four (stumps)
India 516 v Pakistan 312 & 257-6

L Balaji

India stayed on course for victory in the first Test as they reduced Pakistan to 257-6 in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day in Mohali.

That gave them a lead of just 53 with no specialist batsmen remaining.

Anil Kumble struck either side of tea, shifting Inzamam-ul-Haq (86) and Yousuf Youhana (68), while Lakshmipathy Balaji had three wickets to his name.

India had earlier finished on 516, with Danish Kaneria taking all four remaining wickets to finish with 6-150.

It was the best analysis by a leg-spinner in a Test against India.

The day began with India 447-6, leading by a healthy 135. They perhaps did not add quite as many runs as they would have liked, however.

Irfan Pathan was the first batsman dismissed when he was stumped for 13, before Lakshmipathy Balaji added a brisk 31.

The innings was brought to a close when two wickets fell in three balls, including the slow-scoring VVS Laxman, who was bowled for 58.

Pakistan's second innings got off to a terrible start, with three wickets falling to the first 25 balls bowled as the total lurched to 10-3.

Balaji claimed India's first wicket, catching Taufeeq Umar off his own bowling for four. The batsman was unlucky as it seemed the ball had only hit pad.

Kaneria celebrates
Kaneria became the first leggie to take five wickets against India

But Balaji was happy to win the decision and he celebrated by clean bowling Younis Khan soon afterwards.

Salman Butt followed Younis into the pavilion, edging Pathan behind when trying to duck a bouncer, and it needed the defiance of Inzamam and Youhana to recover what was becoming a desperate situation.

They put on 139 in 33 overs to show India that they were not prepared to go down without a fight.

Inzamam was looking in particularly fine fettle - launching Kumble for one big straight six - before once again misreading the same bowlers' top-spinner.

Expecting the ball to turn like a conventional leg-break he planted his pad down the line of middle-and-off stump and was caught plum in front.

It was a carbon copy replay of his first innings dismissal.

Kumble should have had a wicket moments later but Asim Kamal was dropped on nought.

The offender was Rahul Dravid, who failed to take a routine offering at first slip as the batsman fended off the second delivery of his innings.

Unbelievably, Dravid had a chance to make amends shortly after tea when Kamal had two runs to his name, but failed to lay a hand on a tougher chance.

Kamal's response was to hit the next three balls for four as Pakistan looked to edge their noses in front.

It was a surprise when Youhana, who had looked so assured, was bowled by another Kumble ball delivered with over-spin.

This time, the batsman was bowled off inside edge and foot.

Kamal intended to make India pay for his double let-off but was ousted before the close as the impressive Balaji, finding some generous reverse swing, trapped him lbw for 48.

Not-out batsmen Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal were left with an almighty task to prevent an Indian victory on Saturday.

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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