Cricket: Inzamam and Aamir pile on the pressure

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The Independent Online
West Indies 303

Pakistan 403 for 3

Dazzling centuries by Aamir Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq gave Pakistan an edge against wayward West Indies on a record-breaking third day of the second Test at Rawalpindi yesterday.

Resuming at the overnight total of 122 for 2, Aamir and Inzamam combined in a record 323-run third-wicket partnership against the West Indies as Pakistan finished the day at 403 for 3, losing only one wicket.

Stumps were drawn 12.3 overs early because of fading light. It gives Pakistan a useful lead of 100 runs over the West Indies' first innings score of 303.

Inzamam was undefeated with a marvelous 169 off 299 balls, hitting 19 fours and a six each off Courtney Walsh and Franklyn Rose. Mohammed Wasim was unbeaten on three.

Aamir and Inzamam's enterprising stand of 323 off 372 minutes bettered the previous best of a 303-run third-wicket stand against West Indies, made by England's Michael Atherton and Robin Smith.

After a delayed start of 30 minutes because of an outfield damp with a heavy overnight dew, Aamir and Inzamam frustrated the West Indies four- man pace attack for more than two sessions. Courtney Walsh brought the long-awaited breakthrough shortly after tea, when Aamir was spectacularly caught by a substitute, Phil Simmons, running back from gully position and holding a two-handed diving catch.

Aamir, dropped on 38 by Brian Lara, reached the three-figure mark when he lifted Carl Hooper over mid-off for his 14th boundary just before lunch for his third Test hundred.

Inzamam, who until yesterday had not scored a century at home despite achieving the three-figure mark five times abroad, finally got his fully deserved century when he steered Ian Bishop for a single to third man.

Third day; Pakistan won toss

WEST INDIES - First Innings 303 (SChanderpaul 95, S L Campbell 78; Azhar Mahmood 4-53).

PAKISTAN - First Innings

(Overnight: 122 for 2)

Aamir Sohail c sub b Walsh 160

Inzamam-ul-Haq not out 169

Mohammad Wasim not out 3

Extras (b8 lb7 nb24 w6) 45

Total (for 3) 403

Fall (cont): 3-387.

To bat: Moin Khan, *Wasim Akram, Azhar Mahmood, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Ahktar.

Bowling (to date): Walsh 28-6-105-1 (nb11); Ambrose 19-2-63-1 (nb12); Bishop 19-1-74-0 (w6); Rose 22.2-2-75-1 (nb1); Hooper 17-1-71-0.

Umpires: D Shepherd (Eng) and Javed Akhtar (Pak).