Butt, Kaneria battle Pak back into contention

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Danish Kaneria (4/59) and Salman Butt (47) battle Pak back into contention in the first Test against India at Kotla, Delhi on Saturday

Tourists were 108 for one wicket in their second essay at tea on the third day.

The 23-year-old Butt  shared a useful 71-run opening partnership with Yasir Hameed (36), who was caught at silly mid-off from the bowling of leg spinner Anil Kumble.

Younis Khan was 19 not out  to enable the visitors to nose ahead by 63 runs, having restricted India to 276 all out in the morning in reply to their first innings 231.

Earlier VVS Laxman top-scored with an unbeaten 72 to help India take a crucial 45-run lead.

Resuming at 228 for six, three runs shy of Pak first innings total of 231, India added 48 runs in 75 minutes and 14.4 overs this morning while losing four wickets.

Danish Kaneria was the wrecker-in-chief, claiming three Indian wickets for 15 from his 4.4 overs this morning. He had taken one wicket yesterday.

Overnight unbeaten pair of Laxman and Kumble raised 54 runs for the seventh wicket from 108 balls to take India past 250 and the duo denied the visitors for 50 minutes before Kumble was out caught behind by Kamran Akmal off Danish Kaneria in India"s 75th over and 12th of the morning. The Indian captain faced 69 balls and hit three fours and when he was out, India were 262 for seven.

Laxman stood like a rock, eschewing extravagant shots to consolidate India"s gain. He though had a classy shot off Shoaib Akhtar for a four in the third man boundary past first slip.

Next over and one run after Kumble"s dismissal, India lost their eighth wicket in the form of Harbhajan Singh. Sohail Tanvir who bowled beautifully throughout the Test clean-bowled Harbhajan for one.

Next man in, Zaheer Khan delighted the big week-end crowd at Kotla with an effortless straight six off Kaneria but next ball hole out to Shoaib Akhtar at mid off to give Kaneria his second wicket of the morning and third overall.

Kaneria ended the Indian innings next ball trapping last batsman Munaf Patel LBW for a duck. Laxman was stranded without partner on 72 which he made from 135 balls and eight fours.

Other main contributors for India were MS Dhoni (57), Rahul Dravid (38) and Wasim Jaffer (32). Tendulkar, who needed 25 runs before this match to become the second most prolific Test batsman, was out for one while Dinesh Karthik and Sourav Ganguly made nine and eight respectively.

For Pakistan, Kaneria took four for 59, Sohail Tanvir three for 83 and Akhtar two for 34. Mohammad Sami was unsuccessful in his 17 overs while conceding 71 runs.

Brief scores:

Pak Ist innings 231 all out and 108/1 (Salman Butt 47*, Yasir Hameed 36, Younis Khan 17*; Kumble 1 for 18) Vs India Ist innings 276 all out (VVS Laxman 72*, Dhoni 57, Dravid 38;  Danish Kaneria 4 for 59, Sohail Tanvir 3 for 83).


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