Kamal lifts Pakistan as Balaji impresses

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The Independent Online

On the first day of the first Test between the two sides on Indian soil for six years, the Pakistan batsman Asim Kamal top-scored with 91 and India's fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji took his maiden five-wicket Test haul in Mohali yesterday.

On the first day of the first Test between the two sides on Indian soil for six years, the Pakistan batsman Asim Kamal top-scored with 91 and India's fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji took his maiden five-wicket Test haul in Mohali yesterday.

The series began in a festive atmosphere with nearly 4,000 Pakistan fans in the packed, 35,000-capacity stadium. They saw Pakistan recover from 156 for 6 to a creditable 312 all out, having been put into bat by Sourav Ganguly. Led by Asim the visitors staged a brave counter-attack, their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq earlier having made 57 before being the fifth wicket to fall. The opener Taufeeq Umar struck 44.

Balaji was the pick of the Indian attack as he collected five wickets for 76.

In Colombo, Matt Prior's fluent batting and Sajid Mahmood's penetrative bowling helped England A build a platform to push for victory against their hosts by the end of the second day.

Prior, with 76 not out, hit 10 fours off 85 balls to help the tourists turn their overnight 272 for 4 into 424 all out before the Lancashire pace bowler Mahmood took 3 for 41 as Sri Lanka A replied with 179 for 6 by the close of play.

Ian Bell's team have moved into position to try to enforce the follow-on in this four-day match. The captain himself failed to add significantly to his first-day 128 not out, moving to 144 from 299 balls before he was bowled by the left-arm seamer Nandika Ranjith in the first over with the second new ball.

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