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Light saves Pak,Team India ends 27 year drought

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Dec 12: Pakistan weathered the twin assault of Anil Kumble and Yuvraj Singh and managed to draw the third and final Test against India as bad light came to their rescue after the visitors were reeling at 162 for 7 with 13 mandatory overs still left in the third and final Test here today.

Despite the draw, India clinched the series 1-0, having won the first Test in New Delhi before drawing the second in Kolkata.

This gave Indians a home series win against the traditional rivals after a gap of nearly 28 overs.

Before this series, India won at home when Pakistan toured the country from November 1979 to February 1980 for a six-Test series.

Captain Kumble ran through the Pakistani top order, claiming five wickets for 60 runs, while Yuvraj surprised the rival batsmen with his flattish left arm bowling.

The Punjab southpaw clean-bowled dangerman Misbah-ul-Haq and Yasir Arafat.

Kumble triggered the Pakistani collapse with a twin strike in the 14th over of the Pakistan innings having Yasir Hameed clean-bowled, after the opener had made 39, and forcing stand-in skipper Younis Khan to offer a tame return catch three balls later for naught to reduce Pakistan to 44 for two.

Seven overs later, he dismissed Salman Butt caught by Dinesh Karthik after a laborious eight runs off 58 balls.

Kumble claimed the fourth Pakistani wicket sending back Fisal Iqbal who skied a catch to Ishant Sharma at mid on.

In the very next ball, Kumble clean-bowled Kamran Akmal with a faster delivery to send Pakistan reeling at 144 for 5.

Just before the mandatory overs were to start, Yuvraj struck telling blows, castling dangerman Misbah, who made a gritty 37, and Yasir Arafat for a naught in his second and third overs respectively to leave Pakistan tottering at 154 for seven.

Mohammed Yusuf and Mohammed Sami survived a torrid time to take the score to 162 when bad light came as blessing to the visiting side.

According to the playing conditions agreed upon by the two sides, no artificial light was to be used in the series.

Indians were unlucky as after more than four days of bright sunshine, cloudy weather prevailed over the city since this afternoon.

Murky weather and intermittent drizzle had threatened the match itself till the previous night of the match before bright sunshine broke out on the first day.

Earlier India did not show any urgency to force a result. They declared their innings 68 minutes after lunch at 274 for six, setting a improbable target of 384 for a win from a maximum 48 overs.

ahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly resumed the innings with the latter hitting Mohammad Sami for a boundary in the very first over of the day. The Indian pair extended the score to 178 before they separated. Dravid was trapped leg before by Danish Kaneria while Sami scalped Ganguly caught at second slip by Iqbal.

The partnerhip of 152 between the two seniors players took the match away from Pakistan and shut whatever little hopes the visitors had to win the third Test.

Dravid departed deceived by a googly from Kaneria and three balls later Ganguly swiped at Sami but ended with an edge into the hands of Fisal Iqbal at gully.

The Bengal southpaw's knock ended nine run's short of what could have been a rare double of scoring a double century and a century in a match.

Then came the disappointing dismissal of Yuvraj Singh as umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled him caught behind. However, TV replays showed the ball going after hitting his boot and the decision must have spoilt the mood of the Punjab swashbuckler who turned 26 today.

Three wicekts fell in a space of in 18 balls and that affected the Indian progress, but VVS Laxman and Dinesh Karthik seemed unperturbed. The stylish Hyderabadi batsman struck two boundaries off a Sami over, while Karthik went berserk in the next Kaneria over hitting the leg spinner twice to the boundary and in between hit him for a huge six.

With enough runs in India's kitty, Kumble declared the innings after the hosts ensured that 374 will be enough to make Pakistan not to try anything unusual.

However, the Indian captain gave a dramatic turn to the match.

With Yuvraj, he almost took India towards a 2-0 series win before bad light rescued the visitors.


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