Laxman helps India gain lead against Pakistan

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2007, 12:19 [IST]
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India rode on Venkatsai Laxman's unbeaten 72 to gain the lead on the third day of the opening Test against Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Saturday.

India were all out for 276 in their first innings in reply to their opponents' 231 after resuming at 228-6. Middle-order batsman Laxman struck eight fours in his 135-ball knock.

Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria grabbed three of the remaining four wickets off 15 balls to finish with 4-59.

Pakistan were 26 for no loss in their second innings at lunch, with Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed unbeaten on 13 apiece. They now trail by 19 runs.

Laxman, 57 overnight, and new skipper Anil Kumble defied the Pakistani attack for more than an hour to ensure the lead.

Pakistan began the proceedings with fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami who tested the seventh-wicket pair, especially Kumble, with short-pitched deliveries in a bid to get an early breakthrough.

The Indian batsmen survived the testing opening hour, with Laxman executing some handsome strokes in front of the wicket and Kumble relying more on singles and twos to keep the

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