Inzamam Escapes to Punish England; Fresh Controversy as Tourists Let Pakistan off the Hook in Third and Final Test in Karachi

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Byline: Myles Hodgson in Karachi

INZAMAM-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana hit unbeaten centuries as Pakistan regained control of the decisive third Test against England at the National Stadium today after losing three early wickets.

Pakistan had slipped into trouble at 64 for three on the opening day after winning the toss and deciding to bat, with Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick and Marcus Trescothick claiming a wicket each.

But by the time play closed, Pakistan had reached 292 without firther loss with Inzamam on 123 and Youssuf on 104.

Yet the situation might have been different if England had not been undermined by a crucial blunder from umpire Mohammad Nazir which allowed Inzamam to escape on four.

Facing the nagging medium-pace of Trescothick - who had already claimed his maiden Test wicket to dismiss opener Imran Nazir with his 10th delivery of the day - with Pakistan on 71 for three Inzamam appeared to have been trapped lbw.

Playing back to a full-length delivery, Inzamam was hit on the ankle of his back leg right in front of his stumps - but umpire Nazir jnr rejected England's appeals to let Pakistan's batsman escape.

Dangerous

Perhaps knowing he had been given a fortunate reprieve, Inzamam set about making the most of his opportunity.

Yousuf Youhana, yet to score fewer than 71 in the series, was equally impressive.

Gough had struck in the fifth over of the day, dismissing dangerous strokemaker Saeed Anwar with a delivery which seamed back into the left-hander and trapped him lbw.

England's hopes of building on that early breakthrough were undermined, though, with Caddick over-stepping in the next over as new batsman Saleem Elahi edged behind only for wicketkeeper Alec Stewart to drop the regulation catch after diving in front of Michael Atherton at first slip. …