Fri, Nov 23, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Watchful Misbah defies India


Pakistan's Salman Butt is clean bowled by India's Zaheer Khan during the first day of their first Test match in New Delhi yesterday.


A defiant innings by Misbah-ul-Haq resurrected Pakistan's first innings yesterday after a dire start to the opening day of the first Test against arch rivals India.

India's debutant captain Anil Kumble led the charge for the home team as they reduced their neighbors to 142-8, but Misbah (71 not out) and tailender Mohammad Sami shared an unbeaten 68-run stand for the ninth wicket, patiently accumulating runs in a wicketless final session.

Misbah posted his first half-century in his eighth Test to slow India's charge and restore Pakistan to a competitive position, finishing the first day at 210-8.

Misbah compiled a watchful four-and-a-half hour knock that included five fours and a six off 204 deliveries. He got a reprieve on 69 when Harbhajan Singh at midwicket failed to hold a rasping pull shot off seamer Munaf Patel.

Providing Misbah the support that he could not get from the more accomplished batsmen, tailender Sami (20 not out) batted for over two hours. Sami was content to play a supporting role, but managed to hit two fours and a six off 77 balls.

Kumble dismissed opener Yasir Hameed, Kamran Akmal and tailender Shoaib Akhtar to celebrate his captaincy debut at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.

Kumble (3-38) capitalized after pace bowler Zaheer Khan (2-31) rattled the visitors with two early strikes.

Electing to bat, Pakistan were jolted by an inswinger from Khan that shattered the stumps of left-handed Salman Butt, who notched just one run in 21 minutes.

Younis Khan was then tempted by a bouncer to play a hook that sailed straight to Patel on the fine-leg fence.

Kumble introduced spin by coming on after 15 overs and did not have to wait long to snare Hameed, who misread a googly, played outside the line and had his off-stump tilted.

Yousuf broke the shackles with some aggressive strokes but in the second over after lunch he fell, leg before wicket to Sourav Ganguly.

Captain Malik fell for a duck by edging Patel to wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni, but Akmal hit a brisk 30 before Kumble shattered his stumps with a flipper.

Rookie Sohail Tanvir (4) was trapped lbw by Harbhajan Singh before Kumble returned to clean bowl Akhtar (2).

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