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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 12:11 GMT
Inzamam praises mental toughness
Kamran Akmal

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was quick to pay tribute to Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal, the two batsmen who between them saved the first Test.

An Indian victory looked a formality before Razzaq and Akmal's stand of 184.

Inzamam said: "After these boys' performance I am relieved. They showed character and mental toughness.

"I really appreciate what Abdul and Kamran did for the team. If the boys continue to play like that we have a chance of winning the series."

Akmal scored 109 - his maiden Test century - to become only the second Pakistan wicket-keeper to reach triple figures against India in Tests after Imtiaz Ahmed at Madras in 1960.

"It was my dream to score a Test hundred and save my team from defeat," Akmal said.

"I am happy my first hundred came at a time when the team needed it most.

"I owe my knock to Razzaq, who gave me tips throughout my stay at the crease."

India captain Sourav Ganguly was also fulsome in his praise for the seventh-wicket pair.

He said: "When we came out today they were 257-6 and we just needed to get four wickets.

"We thought we could just bowl one good ball and then get the rest out but Razzaq and Akmal batted brilliantly."

The wicket played extremely placidly on the final day, Ganguly reckoning there was "not much help for the seamers."

But Inzamam said: "It was a good sporting wicket for both batsmen and bowlers."

Interview: Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer


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