We snatched victory from jaws of defeat: Asif recalls 2006 Karachi Test

Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif has recalled the famous Karachi Test against India played in 2006 which saw young fast bowler Irfan Pathan take a hat-trick in the very first over of the match.

The first two Tests in Multan and Faisalabad were high-scoring draws and the series decider was played at the National Stadium in Karachi from January 29 to February 1.

“If you remember the Indian team that came to Pakistan in 2006, they had a solid batting line-up. (Rahul) Dravid was scoring plenty of runs, (Virender )Sehwag smashed us at Multan. During the Faisalabad Test, both teams scored 600 runs each. We were a bit worried as their batting line-up was deep, MS Dhoni was batting at number seven or eight,” Asif said on Pakistani show ‘The Burgerz’.

In the third and final Test, Pakistan were bowled out for 245 in the first innings. It was the century from Kamran Akmal (113) which helped them post a respectable first-innings total. However, they came out with a splendid bowling performance as they bundled India to 238.

“When the match started, Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick in the first over itself. Our morale was down. Kamran Akmal scored a century lower down the order. We scored around 240 runs,” said Asif.

In the 2nd innings, the hosts posted a mammoth 599/7, riding on the superb century from Faisal Iqbal (139) and went on win the match by 341 runs as they bundled out India for 265 in the final innings.

Asif further claimed that during the course of the game, his Pakistan teammate and fellow pacer Shoaib Akhtar had put Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar in real trouble with his bouncers.

“When we started bowling, Shoaib Akhtar bowled at express pace in that match. I was standing at square leg near the umpire and I myself saw that Tendulkar closed his eyes while facing one or two bouncers bowled by Shoaib.

“The Indians were playing on the back foot and we didn’t allow them to score even 240 in the first innings. We snatched victory from jaws of defeat,” the right-arm pacer, who was banned for seven years for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan’s tour of England, said.

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