Misbah leads Pak resistance

New Delhi, November 22:

A defiant innings by Misbah-ul-Haq resurrected Pakistan’s innings after a dire start to the opening day of the first Test against arch rival India on Thursday.

India’s debutant captain Anil Kumble led the charge for the home team as they reduced Pakistan to 8-142, but Misbah (71 not out) and 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. Providing Misbah the support, 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 Shoaib Akhtar to celebrate his captaincy debut at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium. Kumble (3-38) capitalised after Zaheer Khan (2-31) rattled the visitors with two early wickets.

Pakistan were jolted by an inswinger from Khan that shattered the stumps of Salman Butt. Younis Khan was then tempted by a bouncer to play a hook that sailed straight into the hands of Patel. Kumble came 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 Shoaib Malik fell for a duck by edging Patel to wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni, but Akmal hit a brisk 30 before Kumble shattered his stumps. Sohail Tanvir (4) was trapped leg before by Harbhajan Singh before Kumble returned to clean bowl Akhtar (2).