Tiger Akmal did it again!

Written by Kashif Aziz on January 29th, 2006   (280 views)

The first day of final test between India and Pakistan started with Pakistani batting destroyed by Irfan Pathan. India won the toss and elected to field keeping wicket conditions in mind. Pakistan lost its first wicket when Salman Butt, who is struggling with bat during the past two matches, went in slip on a fine bowl by Irfan Pathan. Pathan, so far being the under-dog of indian bowling, got Butt, Younis and Yousuf for a hat-trick.

Pakistan was 39 for 6 in 10.3 overs and at that time putting 100 runs on board seemed to be an uphill task. But as soon as Kamran Akmal came on the crease, things started to look positive for Pakistan. Akmal played brilliantly, sensibly placing strokes on loose balls. He got a chance of missed stumping on 81 but otherwise he played a perfect innings, expected from those who were out on duck. Akmal scored his 113 runs in 148 balls including 18 fours. Shoaib Akhtar made 45 in 60 balls with 8 fours and 1 six.

Due to the fighting innings by Kamran Akmal, Pakistan was able to get 245 in first innings. Indian bowling was very tight and tidy, although they somewhat lost the advantage of quick early wickets. Irfan Pathan got 5 for 61.

At end of first day, India was 74 for 4, with Laxman, Dravid, Sehwag and Tendulkar back in pavillion. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day for the match. Pakistan, by taking 4 wickets can put further pressure on India and may turn the match in our favour.

This match is going to have a result, this is for sure.

Osman Samiuddin adds:

Many things about Akmal are astonishing, not least that his batting, although essentially uncoached, is built on such a correct base. Where most of Pakistan’s top order moved forward first only to be beaten by swing and seam, Akmal moved back to full height and repelled both. If it was full enough, he played straight, or at least made sure not to close the face of his bat. As always, in hitting his boundaries there was only a firm conviction in his method; in a different way to Virender Sehwag there is never a lack of doubt about his strokes.

Little things about his technique are refreshing; the footwork for the drives, the high and straight left elbow, the pivot on the pull. But this innings should be lauded in its entirity, in particular the modes of play it encompassed. He came in as low as number No.8 with Pakistan at 39 for 6; the pitch had eased but only a touch and he only had Abdul Razzaq of the recognized batsmen for company. A stoic rearguard was demanded, of the type maybe that Moin Khan had engineered in Kolkatanearly seven years ago when he made 70 off 207 balls after Pakistan were 26 for 6. Akmal did that and simultaneously launched a quite unique counter, pacing it such that Pakistan’s scoring rate remained comfortably over four an over.

Ultimately, it was an innings of multi-purpose; to quell disaster while imposing a presence, and none of the hundreds he has scored have come in such a challenging atmosphere. In the context of the situation, it was the type of batting rebellion that will remain etched not only on the brand new honours board (of century-makers) at the National Stadium, but in the mind for years to come.

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Technorati Tags: India, Pakistan, Irfan Pathan, Kamran Akmal

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