Jaffer, Dravid lead the run chase at Kotla

Published: Sunday, November 25, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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New Delhi: Indian opener Wasim Jaffer struck a fluent 53 to raise Indian victory hopes on the fourth day of the first Test against Pakistan on Sunday.

The hosts, chasing a victory target of 203, reached 89 for two wickets at tea after strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar provided the second breakthrough by removing Jaffer.

Rahul Dravid (34) and Sachin Tendulkar (one) were together at the interval with India needing 114 more runs on a Ferozshah Kotla pitch causing few alarms for the batsmen.

Jaffer struck his ninth Test fifty and added 82 runs for the second wicket with Dravid after fellow opener Dinesh Karthik (1) fell in Shoaib's first over before lunch, taken with India on 3 for one.

Neither Jaffer and Dravid looked in real trouble despite sustained spells from fast bowlers Mohammad Sami and left-armer Sohail Tanvir, escaping early pressure due to poor Pakistan fielding.

However, Sami appeared distinctly unlucky after his close lbw shout against Dravid on 13 was turned down by umpire Billy Doctrove.

The tall Jaffer hit superbly timed drives on either side of the wicket including two in a row against Sami, a flick to fine leg followed by a pull to mid-wicket.

Shoaib returned to provide Pakistan with hope when he forced Jaffer into pulling a short-pitched delivery straight to Tanvir, who took a low catch at square leg.

Pakistan were 247 all out before lunch after losing their last three wickets in four balls.

Indian left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan claimed two early scalps after Pakistan resumed on their overnight score of 212 for five, and the visitors added only 35 more runs.

Misbah-ul Haq, who top scored with 82 in the first innings, made 45 despite suffering from a fever until Indian skipper Anil Kumble turned to part-time medium-pacer Saurav Ganguly.

Ganguly was handed the new ball during his first over and Misbah recklessly tried to hoist the first delivery over long on, only to provide Dinesh Karthik with a running catch at deep mid on. He struck two fours and two sixes in his two-hour stay.

Ganguly dismissed Mohammad Sami (5) two balls later, mis-timing an attempted heave to midwicket before last man Danish Kaneria was run out following a mix-up with Shoaib.

Leg spinner Kumble returned figures of three for 68.

Brief Scores (at tea, D-4):

Pakistan 231 and 247 Vs India 276 and 89 for 2 (Jaffer 53, Dravid 34 n o; Akhtar 2 for 26).


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