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kban1

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More on Pakistan's Energizer AA batteries (Afridi and Akmal)
« on: January 15, 2006, 03:08:52 AM »

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=6&sectname=Sports&sess=143600190

NATURAL BORN KILLERS


What was going on in the middle between you and Harbhajan Singh?” Pakistan’s maverick batsman Shahid Afridi was asked on a day when he tore the Indian bowling to shreds.

“Nothing really,” replied the original Pathan. “But Kumble had something to tell me when I lifted him for a four over extra covers.

“He told me, ‘Where the **** do I bowl to you?'”

For some, it was an anecdote worth narrating, but it also showed India’s helplessness on day two of the first test yesterday.

Pakistan amassed 679 for seven  declared in their first innings, with four batsmen getting scores of over hundred.

India, in reply, were 65 for no loss when bad light ended play.

On a placid surface against a tiring Indian bowling attack, the stage had been set early set for Afridi to cut loose.

The Pakistan all-rounder, who habitually torments India, scored a demoralising 78-ball 100, forcing India coach Greg Chappell to put him at par with some of the big hitters the game has seen.

“I have seen (Ian) Botham, (Clive) Lloyd and of course Adam Gilchrist. But Afridi’s innings is up in the top group. The ground is not big enough to keep him in,” he said.

Such was his savagery on the day that he threatened to hit six sixes in an over from Harbhajan Singh. A wet ball, however, kept the tally down to four. But, with 27 runs coming from the over, it was just a run away from making this a piece of history.

“It was in my mind when I went for another six off the fifth ball. But the ball had become wet and he (Harbhajan) bowled a straight one and I couldn’t hit it for another six,” said Afridi, whose last 82 runs came in 47 balls.

Rahul Dravid did his bit by putting enough men on the boundary. But it was of no consequence as seven towering sixes from Afridi’s bat went over the fence.

Afridi’s partner in plunder was wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, who too made hay, scoring an 81-ball hundred that put into oblivion Adam Gilchrist’s 84-ball record for the fastest century by people of their tribe.

The task is cut out for India. They need to bat at least for the next two days to keep the fire of hope burning. A fact that Chappell confirmed.

“We are under pressure and we need to bat well. There are still 270 overs remaining.”

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