Sun, Jul 16, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Inzamam, Yousuf survive the morning to steady Pakistan

AGENCIES , LONDON

Mohammad Yousuf stabilized the Pakistan first innings yesterday morning after nightwatchman Mohammad Sami was dismissed for a duck in the second over on the third day of the first test against England at Lord's.

Yousuf, known as Yousuf Youhana before he converted to Islam last year, recorded his 25th test half-century, to steer the tourists from their overnight 66 for three in reply to England's 528 for nine declared, to 165 for four at lunch.

At the interval he had taken his score to 66 while captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, had reached 44 not out.

Difficult chance

Liam Plunkett, who'd removed opener Imran Farhat late on Friday, nearly had a wicket with his second ball yesterday when he had Inzamam, then on 17, edging an intended cut. But Marcus Trescothick, leaping high at first slip, was unable to hold the difficult one-handed chance and the ball sped away to the boundary.

After left-arm spinner Monty Panesar had bowled the opening over from the Nursery End, Hoggard caught the edge of Sami's bat with his fourth delivery and the ball flew to acting captain Andrew Strauss at second slip.

England appealed for the catch but, after consulting his fellow-umpire Simon Taufel, Steve Bucknor confirmed the ball had bounced.

The next ball again caught the edge and wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, moving to his right, made no mistake with the catch.

Bounced

Steve Harmison, who took two wickets in three balls on Friday evening, was immediately recalled in place of Panesar and beat Yousuf for pace flashing outside the off stump. He then bounced the new batsman Inzamam and Hoggard also bowled several short-pitched deliveries to the Pakistan captain with two men back for the hook.

Inzamam, supremely unruffled as always, got off the mark with a sumptuous off drive off Hoggard and Yousuf accumulated runs steadily with deft deflections and flashing cover drives, including one off Harmison which raced to the boundary before the bowler had completed his follow-through.

Hoggard, who had been passed fit after having six stitches in his bowling hand last Saturday when he was spiked by a team mate, switched to the Nursery End while Panesar returned to bowl over the wicket at the Pavilion End.

But neither could force the breakthrough on a pitch still looking full of runs.

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