Lakshmipathy Balaji returned to international cricket with a bang, dismissing five Pakistani batsmen by sticking to the basics. He has often spoken of his reliance on accuracy and on the first day he had the numbers to prove it. His discipline against the right-handers was impeccable. He pitched 97% of his balls were on or outside the off stump, tying down the batsmen and making them play at deliveries that cut and swung marginally. While Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan were fiery and swung it more, Balaji's dedication to the rudiments fetched him 5 for 76.
From the first few balls of his innings, it was clear that Inzamam-ul-Haq was in great touch. Where his openers struggled to lay bat on ball, he played swinging deliveries with time to spare. The result was that he and Taufeeq Umar steadied the team after their rocky beginning, and even after Umar's dismissal, he carried on with such comfort that nearly 70% of all the deliveries he faced hit the middle of his bat. Even more remarkably, he was beaten only 2% of the time during his stay on a pitch that afforded the bowlers huge swing.
As the pitch dried up and the ball swung less, Pakistan's in-control percentage against the bowlers rose in the afternoon and then fell. This had much to do with some loose batting by the lower-middle order and the tail as well as accurate bowling.
Pathan v Zaheer Both Pathan and Zaheer swung the ball in their first spells, but Zaheer seemed the more hostile, the more likely to make a breakthrough. He induced numerous edges off the bat and conceded three times as many runs as Pathan in the morning, but as the day went by, Pathan began pitching the balls in the right areas and made the batsmen play.
Zaheer continued to bowl with hostility throughout the day but could not discomfort the batsmen as he had in the morning. As a result, the in-control percentage of the batsmen against him rose: they were not in control of 17.1% of the time against Zaheer, while the figure bloated to 29.3% against Pathan.