India Pakistan Cricket series - Special Coverage




Pakistan level series with 9 wicket win

LAHORE, April 8 - Pakistan crushed India by nine wickets to register an emphatic series-levelling victory with more than a day to spare in the second test on Thursday.


Chasing 40 to win after India's second innings ended on 241, the hosts raced to the target in just seven overs, 25 minutes after lunch on the fourth day, for the loss of opener Imran Farhat.

Taufeeq Umar scored the winning runs, glancing seamer Irfan Pathan for four. He raised his bat and hugged non-striker Yasir Hameed in celebration.

Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel had saved India the blushes of an innings defeat with a fighting unbeaten 62, his second test half-century.

Patel raised 75 for the eighth wicket with Ajit Agarkar (36) to hold off Pakistan's victory surge after Shoaib Akhtar dismissed Virender Sehwag (90) and Pathan (nought) after India resumed on their overnight 149 for five.

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria grabbed the last three wickets for 12 runs in a 3.4 over spell.

India had won the first test in Multan last week by an innings and 52 runs.

"The team has shown lot of character and belief to come back and win this match," Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

"We've been under pressure after losing the one-day series 3-2 and then losing the test at Multan but the boys have worked very hard to turn things around."

The visitors resumed on Thursday with Sehwag on a fiery 86.

But Pakistan's pace spearhead Shoaib put paid to India's hopes by removing him in his fourth over, caught behind while trying to drive.

Shoaib then softened Pathan with three bouncers and dismissed him for a duck later in the same over, fending another rising ball to the leg-side field.

But just when it looked like curtains for India, Patel and Agarkar came up with a fighting stand to ensure the hosts would have to bat again.

Agarkar, who has a test century to his name against England at Lord's, hit eight fours but leg-spinner Danish Kaneria had him caught by Taufeeq Umar at slip.

Kaneria struck again in his next over, trapping Anil Kumble stumped for nought though television replays suggested the third umpire might have got the decision wrong.

Kumble's back leg was in the air but his front leg seemed to be grounded inside the crease.

Kaneria then closed out the Indian innings, sending back last-man Lakshmipathy Balaji for a duck.

"It's disappointing, but we have to give credit to the way Pakistan bowled," India's stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid said.

"We've lost but we're not down. The boys are eager to make amends in the final test."