Kaif scores Century as India Declare on 588

Published: Monday, June 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Lucia:With Mohammed Kaif's career best of 148 India declared its first innings on 588 for 8 just after tea on the second day of the second test.

Anil Kumble was bowled by Taylor in the second over after tea when skipper Dravid decided that there were enough runs on the board to declare. Kaif remained not out on career best 148.

It continued to rain runs for India in the session after lunch as Mohammed Kaif joined the centurian's club with his maiden Test hundred.

Kaif had played 10 Test matches before without a century.

The closest he came was when he scored 91. But today Kaif not only reached his first Test hundred after lunch, he went on batting for long to remain not out on 148. This would certainly rank as Kaif's best Test innings that was peppered with 12 boundaries.

After Lunch India looked to increase the momentum and the team looked to MS Dhoni to deliver the killer punch. But Lara had the field spread out for Dhoni right from the beginning and some tight bowling kept the Indian keeper under tight leash.

Dhoni tried to break off but only managed to hole out to Ganga off Bradshaw. Ganga took the catch of Irfan Pathan too, this time off Gayle, too prevent the Indians from running amok post lunch.

But the wickets came few and far between and a resolute Mohammed Kaif made sure that India went to tea with three wickets in hand.

Earlier, skipper Rahul Dravid departed two deliveries before lunch on the second day but not before India had reached dominating position. At lunch, India were 485 for 5, Dravid was out for 146 but Kaif was looking solid on a well made 89.

India continued to build on their good start in the first hour's play of the second day of second Test being played here. Skipper Rahul Dravid completed his ton while Kaif reached his fifty as the two added 68 runs in the first hour.

Rahul Dravid played Pedro Collins on the on side for a brace to complete his 23rd Test century. This was a completely faultless innings from Dravid on a benign pitch. Even West Indies skipper Brian Lara admitted yesterday that never on one occasion Dravid looked under pressure of any sorts.

Considering that the pitch was likely to favour batsmen at least in the first three days, Dravid and Kaif went on to raise another hundred plus partnership in the Indian innings. This was the third hundred plus partnership of the innings.

Runs came fluently as Dravid and Kaif regularly found the gaps.

Kaif ran hard with his skipper and the two converted many singles into double and doubles into three runs to pep up scoring.

Kaif hit Jerome Taylor for a cover boundary to reach his fifty.

Kaif cut loose after his fifty hitting Pedro Collins for two beautiful boundaries on the off side.

Brian Lara looked completely out of any clue on how to stop the run flow.

Kaif was not afraid to play in air. He gave half a chance to Pedro Collins when he cut uppishly that just went above the gully fielder for four. The boundary also raised 150 partnership for the fifth wicket.

Lara introduced spin in the form of Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan from both the ends. Lara had outside hopes that the batsmen would take some risks against the slow bowlers.

Sarwan didn't let down Lara when Dravid made one mistake of his innings that cost his wicket. Dravid tried to play above backward point but couldn't clear Lara who took a comfortable catch.

Dravid made 146 runs with 16 hits to the fence and raised two big partnerships with Sehwag and Kaif respectively.

Kaif on the other end flourished with some superb stroke play and reached close to his first hundred in Test matches.

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