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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 April, 2004, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Pakistan take control
Second Test, Lahore, day three (close):
India 287 & 149-5 v Pakistan 489

VVS Laxman is removed by Umar Gul
India were on the brink of defeat in the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore despite a robust half-century from Virender Sehwag.

The visitors trailed by 53 after slumping to 149-5 on day three.

Mohammad Sami led the home charge with figures of 2-61, but Sehwag gave India some hope with an unbeaten 86, sharing 44 unbroken runs with Parthiv Patel.

The hosts were earlier dismissed for 489 after Asim Kamal's 73 helped them establish a first-innings lead of 202.

India had Pakistan on the ropes early on as they reduced them from an overnight 355-3 to 386-7, with Irfan Pathan taking three wickets.

But Kamal, who made 99 on debut against Bangladesh, showed experience beyond his three Tests to marshal the tail expertly.

He put on stands of 46 for the eighth wicket with Shoaib Akhtar and 38 for the ninth wicket with Umar Gul.

Irfan Pathan removes Inzamam-ul-Haq
Pathan had Pakistan in trouble early on the third day

Pathan stole the show in the first hour, however, making Pakistan's domineering second day seem a long way off with a withering opening burst.

Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, who put on 151 for the fourth wicket with Yousuf Youhana, fell for his overnight score of 118 when trapped lbw first ball by Pathan's wicked inswinger.

Youhana came out punching with successive boundaries off Lakshmipathy Balaji, but he soon fell when edging the right-armer into the hands of keeper Parthiv Patel.

New batsmen at the crease were like fresh meat for Pathan (3-80), who moved in for the kill to remove Kamran Akmal (lbw) and Sami (bowled).

India looked sure to tuck into the tail, but Kamal and Shoaib battened down the hatches in a welcome period of calm for Pakistan.

They took Pakistan to lunch without further loss of wickets, Shoaib becoming Anil Kumble's 391st Test victim after the break when well-caught at mid-wicket by Yuvraj for 19 off 75 balls.

Kamal found another supportive partner in Gul, who was largely content to sit back while he upped the scoring rate, hitting Pathan over mid-on for one of three glorious sixes.

Asim Kamal
Kamal stopped India's comeback in its tracks with a fine knock

Gul's unique dismissal - treading on leg-stump after hitting Tendulkar for four - prompted Kamal to give his own wicket away, playing a false reverse sweep to Kumble and ending the Pakistan innings.

India's second dig had barely got off the ground before the loss of two wickets prior to tea left them reeling.

A score of 15-0 became 15-2 at tea when Akash Chopra was trapped lbw by Shoaib for five and stand-in captain Rahul Dravid fell to an Imran Farhat direct hit without facing a ball.

Unperturbed by the loss of partners, Sehwag emerged from the interval with a flashing blade, putting to bed a second-innings average that languishes in the low-20s.

He struck 14 boundaries in another assured innings, and a seventh Test ton looks on the cards.

His command of the attack failed to catch on, however, and India fell to 43-3 when Sachin Tendulkar was trapped in front by Sami, failing to get into double figures for the second time in the match.

VVS Laxman looked to be in good order in compiling 13 off 27 balls, but few batsman could have survived the luscious Gul leg-cutter that uprooted his off-stump.

Likewise, first-innings centurion Yuvraj Singh appeared set for another weighty innings before Sami had him chasing outside off-stump and edging behind for 12.

A day-three finish appeared an embarrassing possibility for India, but Sehwag and Patel (14 not out) stood firm to the close.

Their efforts look sure to make Pakistan bat again, but much more will be required on day four if the hosts are not to level the three-Test series with victory.

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: S Bucknor (WI), S Taufel (Aus).

BBC Sport's Chris Florence
"Pakistan are firmly on course"


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