New Delhi: Saurav Ganguly cracked his first century in 23 Tests as India frustrated Zimbabwe on a rain-hit third day of the second and final Test on Saturday.
The stylish left-hander scored an unbeaten 135 for his eighth Test hundred to help India reach 319 for six at stumps in reply to Zimbabwe's 329 at the Ferozeshah Kotla Ground. Anil Kumble was 19 not out. Only 52 overs were possible due to poor light and rain, which were more than enough for Ganguly to complete his first century in 18 Tests as the Indian captain. Ganguly, whose last Test hundred came against New Zealand at Ahemdabad in October 1999, reached the three-figure mark when he pulled seamer Heath Streak for four at the stroke of tea. He returned to form at the right time, sharing a 120-run stand for the fifth wicket with hard-hitting Virender Sehwag after his team had been reduced to 144 for four on Friday. Local hero Sehwag made an entertaining 74 with the help of 15 fours, batting aggressively from the beginning to outscore even his captain during his second Test half-century in five matches. Sehwag used his feet well against left-arm spinner Raymond Price, fluently driving him on both sides of the wicket. Ganguly also punished the Zimbabwean spinner, hitting three successive fours in the extended closing session. He has so far hit one six and 21 boundaries in his 279- ball knock. Sehwag and Ganguly batted confidently against both pace and spin as the tourists waited 27 overs for their first success in overcast conditions despite taking the second new ball in the 82nd over during the morning session. Streak broke the partnership when he trapped Sehwag leg before with the one that came in sharply for his second victim of the innings. The batsman was let off the previous ball, dropped by Andy Flower at first slip. Sanjay Bangar, who smashed a brisk unbeaten 100 in the previous Test at Nagpur, did not last long as he contributed just four before being run out three overs later. There was no stopping Ganguly, who continued to bat comfortably as India scored 148 for the loss of just two wickets after resuming at 171 for four. India leads 1-0 in the two-Test series following its win by an innings and 101 runs in the first match.
Scorecard of Day 3
Sachin, Srinath rested for first three ODIs
Ganguly slams century, India 243/4 at tea
Photo gallery: Ind-Zim: Test 1