Misbah leads recovery

Lower order bails out Pakistan

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 23/11/07 11:28am

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Misbah: 71 not out

Misbah: 71 not out

Sky Bet

Anil Kumble enjoyed a successful first day as India's Test captain, taking three wickets to help reduce Pakistan to 210-8 by the close in Delhi.

Pakistan slumped to 83-5 before Misbah-ul-Haq struck an unbeaten 71 to lead a strong fight-back after tea.

Misbah shared a sixth-wicket stand of 39 with Kamran Akmal to instigate the recovery, but it was an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 68 with Mohammad Sami that salvaged Pakistan's day.

Akmal batted sensibly to reach 30 from 50 balls before becoming the second of Kumble's victims when he was bowled playing back to a delivery that kept low.

Sohail Tanvir (4) and Shoaib Akhtar (2) did not hang around long, but No.10 Sami rose to the challenge.

Misbah, playing his eighth Test, reached a maiden half-century from 148 balls and went on to finish unbeaten on 71, having hit five fours and a six.

Sami reached the close on 20 not out after frustrating the Indian attack for 77 deliveries, including a burst with the second new ball just prior to the close, which came five overs early due to bad light.


In the morning, Zaheer Khan (2-36) made the most of overcast conditions to remove Salman Butt and Younis Khan during his opening spell after Pakistan had opted to bat first.

Butt had scored one from 20 balls when Zaheer shaped an inswinger between bat-and-pad, while Younis (7) - who came into the match averaging 101.60 from six Tests against India - hooked a bouncer into the hands of Munaf at fine-leg.

Kumble brought himself on in the 15th over and soon made the third breakthrough with a flighted googly that got through Yasir Hameed's (29) hopeful prod.

And when Mohammad Yousuf (27) was given out lbw after playing down the wrong line against Sourav Ganguly's medium pace, Pakistan were in deep trouble at 76-4.

That became 83-5 when captain Malik edged behind off Munaf for a 12-ball duck to complete an abject effort from the top order.

Happily for the tourists, Misbah found some sterling support lower down to ensure Pakistan avoided playing themselves out of the first Test on the opening day of the series.

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