Jaffer, Dravid bolster India against England

Published: Thursday, March 2, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Nagpur:Wasim Jaffer celebrated his comeback into the national team with a chanceless unbeaten 73 as India regained initiatives after Paul Collingwood's maiden ton powered England to a respectable 393 in their first innings on day two of the first Test here today.

At close of play on the second day of the first Test here, the hosts were 136 for one with Jaffer on 73 and Dravid on 40.

Earlier in the morning, Paul Collingwood, in company of tailenders, bailed England out as the last three wickets put on 149 runs to take the visitors close to the 400 mark even though they eventually fell seven runs shy of the mark.

Collingwood added 60 runs for the ninth wicket with Steve Harmison, who played a cameo 41-ball 39 with seven boundaries and then 66 for the last with Monty Panesar to rescue England on a perfect batting wicket.

However, for all the heroics of the tail, the main hero for England was Collingwood who remained unbeaten on a brilliant 134.

The middle-order batsman played sensible cricket giving the strike to Harmison when the fast bowler was going hammer and tongs at the Indians and then attacked the Indian bowling, which did not have a clue after the departure of Harmison.

Collingwood hit with gusto taking on off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for a six to reach 99 and then toyed with Irfan Pathan, hitting him for a six and a four to the long on fence.

Collingwood's unbeaten 134 came in 244 balls and was studded with 13 fours and four huge sixers.

Meanwhile, India started off on a bright note with Jaffer getting of the mark with an on-drive of Matthew Hoogard in his first over.

Jaffer, who was strong on anything on the leg side, then turned his attention to Harmison as he executed another brilliant on-drive for a boundary. However, India suffered a big setback in Hoggard's next over as destructive opening batsman Virender Sehwag could not keep down a cover drive and Kevin Pietersen at cover made no mistake in accepting the catch. Sehwag made just two and the Indian score was 11 at that time.

The loss of Sehwag did not seem to deter Jaffer as he played sensibly, keeping out the good balls and making full use of the bad ones. He drove Harmison through mid-off for a boundary and then chose the other side for another on-driven four off the same pacer.

Andrew Flintoff soon introduced himself into the attack but Jaffer flicked him for two boundaries behind square.

At the other end, captain Rahul Dravid was as composed and played the bowling on merit, tackling Hoggard with ease during his opening spell when he was getting some swing.

The two also did not have problems in negotiating left arm-spinner Monty Panesar and except for one ball which turned viciously out of the rough on the leg side and went past the off-stump. Jaffer and Rahul were confidence personified.

Jaffer then brought up his fourth Test 50 when he paddle-swept Panesar to the fine-leg boundary. His 50 came in 121 balls and had 10 sweetly timed fours in it.

The Mumbai opener preferred the leg-side and whenever the English bowlers pitched it on the middle or leg he took full advantage with wristy flicks and glides to the boundary.

Dravid, who was keen on keeping one end up, slowly came into his own as he hit two glorious drives, one off and one leg of Ian Blackwell to step on the scoring.

Dravid and Jaffer put on 125 runs for the unbroken second wicket partnership.

Scorecard of Day 2

Write Comments