THE PAKISTAN pace bowlers ripped through the Indian middle order yesterday, restricting their first-innings score to 223 all out after the hosts had looked set to build a formidable lead on the second day of the first match of the three-nation Asian Test championship in Calcutta. At the close Pakistan, who scored 185 in their first innings, were 26 for 1, still 12 runs behind.
Shoaib Akhtar, who replaced Waqar Younis, ended with 4 for 71 while Wasim Akram had figures of 3 for 65, though the pair between them conceded 28 no-balls. Sadagopan Ramesh, with 79, helped India produce a first-innings lead of 38 despite the Pakistani fightback which claimed the last eight wickets for 76.
India, who began the day on 26 for 1, lost only the wicket of the nightwatchman Anil Kumble in the first session and by mid-afternoon were strongly placed at 147 for 2. But Shoaib uprooted Rahul Dravid's leg-stump with a yorker and then meted out similar treatment to Sachin Tendulkar with his next delivery, and India never regained the momentum.
Both teams took five bonus points for their performance in the first innings - four bowling points for taking all the wickets within 100 overs and one batting point for scoring between 150 and 224 runs.
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