Akmal and Razzaq save the Test

Pakistan 312 (Kamal 91, Balaji 5-76) and 496 for 9 dec (Akmal 109, Inzamam 86, Razzaq 71, Youhana 68) drew with India 516 (Sehwag 173, Tendulkar 94, Kaneria 6-150) and 85 for 1

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

How they were out

Four years on from the Ides of March that tormented Steve Waugh in Kolkata, India were at the receiving end of a rearguard action that is certain to go down in the annals. Kamral Akmal, who had suggested very little by way of batting ability in his previous ten Tests, thwarted India with a quite magnificent century as Pakistan batted with composure and comfort to ensure that the Mohali Test would end in a draw. But just as crucial as Akmal's stroke-filled 109 was a revelatory innings of 71 from Abdul Razzaq, who eschewed his attacking instincts to defy the Indians for 346 minutes and 260 balls. Like Casanova doing penance in a monastery under an order of silence, Razzaq's innings was remarkable for its focus, and it provided Akmal with a platform to play some glorious strokes.

Akmal and Razzaq batted together for 56.1 overs, adding 184 and shutting India out of the game. By the time Inzamam called his players in - Rana Naved-ul-Hasan contributed a breezy 38 for good measure - India were left to score 293 to win in 25 overs. When play was called off nine overs early, with Sehwag (36) just having been stumped, they had reached 85, a million miles from the victory that had appeared inevitable in the morning.

Pakistan had started the final day just 53 ahead and with only four wickets standing, but they sauntered unharmed through the opening session, adding 112 runs and suddenly glimpsing the safe shores of a draw. They were aided and abetted by a pallid Indian bowling performance that became ragged and indisciplined as the morning wore on.

Having taken the new ball within six overs of the restart, India wasted it by failing to bowl the right channels and lengths. With the exception of Lakshmipathy Balaji, who beat the bat a few times with late movement, the bowlers failed to ask questions of the batsmen, who became increasingly comfortable and confident as the session wore on.

Akmal, who started the day with the finest of tickles off the pads for four when Kumble strayed down the leg side, was sensational. Unfairly compared to Moin Khan - he's a far more accomplished keeper - in the batting stakes, he chose the most vital innings of his nascent career to showcase his qualities. When he drove, it was with a flourish, and on the couple of occasions when he edged the ball, he went at it so hard that it made the slips redundant.

Zaheer Khan, who combined some fine deliveries with hit-me balls, was cut and guided away for four to third man, while Kumble, who grew ever more frustrated, was late cut and driven with panache through the covers. At the other end, Razzaq was content to rotate the strike and strike the odd powerful blow when the mood took him. In desperation, Sourav Ganguly turned to Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but nothing worked and as the lead swelled past 150, the despair was visible on a few Indian faces.

An over from Kumble a quarter of an hour before lunch encapsulated the morning. After Darrell Hair had mistakenly signaled four byes - the ball went off Akmal's body - the next ball was slog-swept for four. And when Kumble tried to spear the next one towards leg stump, it evaded both the batsmen and the keeper to add to the byes column.

It got no better after lunch with Zaheer bowling a whole succession of mindless short-pitched balls on a surface that was certainly no WACA. One of them hit Razzaq, but didn't faze him a bit. A ball after Ganguly had put down a difficult chance running to deep mid-on off Kumble, Razzaq finally decided to free his arms and thump one a few miles over the fence at long-on. It was exhilarating stuff, and minutes later, there was more euphoria in the Pakistani dressing room as Akmal, who had progressed to 99 with the help of a fine leg-glance and a superb cut, smacked a cover-drive off Kumble to bring up three figures.

Balaji, the only pace bowler to fathom the right length to bowl on this pitch, got him soon after, lofting one to Harbhajan at cover (427 for 7), but by then, the result was not in doubt. Razzaq's vigil ended soon after, with the luckless Kumble finally inducing an edge through to Dravid - who overcame a recent bout of butterfingers to hold on at the third attempt.

The game meandered after that, with Naved's big-hitting and a few meaty blows from Sehwag having an exhibition air to them. For India, the sins of the third afternoon when they wasted time and run-scoring opportunities had come back to deservedly kick them in the teeth, and thoughts of victory songs were rudely dismissed by the brilliance and tenacity of two men who refused to accept that defeat was an option.

How they were out

India 2nd innings

Sehwag c Akmal b Younis 36 (85 for 1) Stumped by yards while trying to feast on Younis Khan's buffet bowling.

Pakistan 2nd innings

Akmal c Harbhajan b Balaji 109 (427 for 7) Drove a Balaji delivery straight to the substitute fielder at cover.

Razzaq c Dravid b Kumble 71 (436 for 8) Edged a legbreak to slip, where it was taken after a couple of fumbles.

Sami c&b Kumble 10 (467 for 9) Brilliantly caught one-handed by Kumble diving to his left off his own bowling.

Dileep Premachandran is assistant editor of Cricinfo.