India v Pakistan, 1st Test, Lahore, 2nd day January 14, 2006

An A-plus performance

How Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal bludgeoned the Indian attack into submission

If the two Ys ensured a fantastic start to the series for Pakistan, then the two As were responsible for converting that start into a mammoth total and completely battering the Indian attack on the second day. Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal were together for just 21.3 overs, but during that period added an incredible 170 runs, that's a small matter of 7.9 runs per over.

Afridi, with his seven sixes - including four in an over off Harbhajan Singh - stole the show, but Akmal wasn't far behind. In their stand, Afridi's contribution was 88 off 61 balls, while Akmal scored 80 off 68. In the end, Akmal's century came off 81 balls, just three more than Afridi needed. The Manhattan below shows just how the partnership flourished, and how the Indians were completely powerless to stop the deluge.

Rahul Dravid tried all the bowlers at his disposal, but none had any success at staunching the runs. Among those who bowled at least ten deliveries to each batsman, Anil Kumble was the most economical (that's strictly in context): his 25 balls to Afridi went for only 23, though Akmal carved him for 45 from 33. Conversely, Harbhajan suffered badly against Afridi (59 from 39), but was relatively better against Akmal (15 off 15). As for the medium-pacers, neither Irfan Pathan (27 off 23 against the two) nor Ajit Agarkar (23 off 14) made the slightest impression.

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