Zaheer double puts India in command, Pak 74/3 at lunch

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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) A Zaheer Khan double and an Anil Kumble special put India in command as they tied down Pakistan to 74 for three from 28 overs at lunch in the first Test at Feroz Shah Kotla here today.

Indian bowlers maintained a good line and length to wrest the initiative after Shoaib Malik called the coin correctly and inserted the hosts on a surface which kept low.

Zaheer was the pick of the bowlers and he put the visitors on the back foot in the first hour, removing opener Salman Butt (1) and vice-captain Younis Khan (7) cheaply.

Butt fell in the last ball of the fifth over, and Zaheer's third, for one at Pakistan total of 13. He missed the line of a Zaheer delivery that swung from outside the off stump to see his bails dislodged. Butt faced 18 balls in his stay of 21 minutes at the crease.

Vice-captain Younis Khan, who came in at the fall of Butt's wicket, lasted 31 minutes and he got out for seven and Pakistan score of 35 for two while trying to pull a Zaheer bouncer only to hole out to Munaf Patel at long leg boundary in the 13th over.

Younis faced 19 balls for his seven and hit one boundary.

Next batsman in, Mohammad Yousuf, was treated by a loud appeal for LBW off Munaf as soon as he came in. He was tentative initially and survived a couple of confident shouts by the Indians.

The in-form Pakistan batsman, however, came on his own later and played some beautiful shots to push up the visitors' total.

He sent Zaheer for two consecutive fours in the 15th over, one at third man and the second to long on boundary.

Pakistan scored 35 for two after 15 overs and their 50 came in the 18th over with opener Yasir Hameed getting a bounadry off Anil Kumble.

Captain Kumble, who introduced himself in the 16th over replacing Munaf, consolidated India's position, removing well settled Hameed with a beauty of a delivery in the 22nd over.

Hameed was foxed by a Kumble special which straightened after pitching and the Pakistan opener completely missed it while trying to drive and saw his off stump uprooted.

Hameed scored 29 from 66 balls with the help of four boundaries in his stay of 95 minutes at the crease.

At lunch, Yousuf was going strong on 27 which included five fours from 42 balls and Misbah-ul-Haq was giving him company on three.

For Indian bowlers, Zaheer returned with two for 25 from his eight overs. His strike partner Munaf Patel bowled with good pace and line and length but was unlucky to have been turned down a couple of confident LBW appeals. He conceded 18 runs from his eight overs.

Kumble bowled six overs for 13 runs and took Hameed's wicket while Harbhajan Singh, bowled one over before lunch and conceded five. Sourav Ganguly was miserly giving away seven runs from his five overs.

Earlier, India opted for two pacers and two spinners and six specialist batsmen while Pakistan went for three fast bowlers and one spinner in Danish Kaneria. Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal was also included in the playing eleven.

UNI

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