Pakistan batsmen puts themselves in tight spot

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Bangalore, Dec 10 (UNI) Pakistan, chasing India's first innings total of 626, were in a tight spot loosing two vital wickets to reach 265 for four at tea on the third day of the third and final Test being played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

Indiscretion marked the untimely departure of the two most experienced Pakistani batsman -- stand-in skipper Younis Khan (80) and Mohammad Yousuf (24)-- who despite settling down well got out playing needless shots.

While Younis was dismissed for trying the reverse sweep Harbhajan too many times, Yousuf lost his concentration after a 'Kumble remark' and got out to a widish delivery from Pathan that must have been left alone.

Misbah-ul-Haq (17) and Fisal Iqbal (14) playing with caution remained unbeaten at the tea break.

After hitting Harbhajan for three boundaries through reverse sweep, the fourth attempt proved fatal for Younis. In the 70th over of the Pakistani innings the 'turbanator', bowling round the wicket, rattle the stumps with a straight delivery and Pakistan were down 221 for 3.

In an eventful Pathan over Yousuf departed, guiding a widish delivery to Yuvraj Singh at Point. The prolific Pakistani batsman had objected to the umpries against some 'remarks' made by Kumble who was standing in the gully, while Pathan was bowling.

The Indian captain pacified the bearded batsman. However, the ploy seemed to be to unsettle Yousuf as just four deliveries later he was dismissed, attempting to drive a delivery that should have been best ignored and offered a tame catch to Yuvraj to put Pakistan at a tight spot at 227 for 4.

The scene proved rather strange for the fact that Yousuf, who has overcome far more 'reputed' sledgers, and is known for his concentration was peeved by Kumble, who no one would believe involves in sledging.

This left Pakistan in a tight spot at 227 for four. Misbah who came at the fall of Younis and Fisal Iqbal who replaced Yousuf, played with extra caution despite Harbhajan, who was the pick of the Indian bowlers, testing the duo with his guile.

The two experienced batsmen added a crutial 72 runs for the third wicket in 137 balls but a much bigger partnership was needed for Pakistan, which still needs 162 more runs to avert the follow on.

However they saw their team cross the 250 mark in the 83rd over.

Iqbal was lucky to survive a loud appeal by Indians who claimed that he was caught behind off Harbhajan but umpire Rudi Koertzen turned down the appeal with TV replays showing a faint nick.

Indian bowlers kept the Pakistan batsmen in check restricting them to score only 94 runs in the first session and 85 runs in the post lunch session.

Earier, Pakistan lost Salman Butt in the morning caught by keeper Karthik off Ganguly who troubled the talented opener with late away swingers.


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