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Pak batsmen make merry on a flat Multan track

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Pakistan controlled the opening day’s play of the second Test at Multan ending at a dominant 263 for 4. The middle order had cashed in after a solid opening stand of 83 between Hafeez and Farhat which lasted for more than two hours to defy any inroads from the seamers under overcast conditions. The Multan track as expected turned out to be a flat one and the bowlers struggled to move the ball around. It was a day when Imran Farhat came good but not good enough to make a hundred.

There was no doubt on what Inzy, the local boy would do after winning the toss at his home ground. The Pakistan side remained unchanged from the one that beat West Indies at Lahore. The tourists had made two changes; the biggest was that of dropping Vice-Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan. The other change was Jamaican Daren Powell coming in for Fidel Edwards. This match was the 100th Test for Shivnarine Chanderpaul who became the 8th West Indian to achieve the feat. The start from Pakistan was a tremendous one, the opening pair had seen off the first session on their own had it been a normal two hours session. It was in the 28th over that West Indies could finally find a breakthrough with Mohammad Hafeez edging a short delivery and wide delivery from Jerome Taylor that had bounced a touch extra in his attempted cut shot. Hafeez exited for 36. A light shower had started to come down just at the stroke of lunch and all it could do was delay the post lunch session by 20 minutes.

The homeside which resumed at 109 for 1 after lunch pressed on with another good partnership between Imran Farhat and Younis Khan. Imran Farhat who could have easily gone onto score his 3rd test hundred messed it up by poking at an away going delivery from Dwayne Bravo to the slips to depart for 74. His runs had come in 158 balls with the help of 10 fours. West Indies couldn’t come back in the game with Younis Khan putting up an 87-run partnership with Mohammad Yousuf before the Vice-Captain was caught at gully off Jerome Taylor. Younis made a watchful 56 which came in 129 balls with six fours. Pak lost one more wicket before the close that of Yousuf’s as the right hander drove Gayle early and uppishly to Lara at short mid wicket. Mohammad Yousuf scored a run more than what Younis had made and his innings had a six along with three boundaries. At stumps, Inzamam-ul-Haq got over his rustiness to remain unbeaten on 30 and giving him company was Shoaib Malik on 4. This was the first day in the Test Series that all the overs were bowled in the day’s play in fact, 91 overs were bowled today with bad light not coming in way of the proceedings.

Among the bowlers, Jerome Taylor was the most successful with 2 for 61. Corey Collymore had a terrific opening spell where he had conceded less than a run; he ended the day with no wickets in 16 overs having given away just 23 runs. The third seamer, Daren Powell was expensive going for 50 in 12 overs. Pakistan will look to get a big first innings total on the board to keep the West Indians out of the match.

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