Ton-up Jaffer steers India to strong position

Published: Friday, November 30, 2007, 14:55 [IST]
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New Delhi: Opener Wasim Jaffer cracked an attractive century to put India in a strong position in the second Test against Pakistan at Eden Gardens here on Friday.

Jaffer made 124 not out, his fifth hundred, as India posted 206 for 2 in their first innings at tea on the opening day after electing to bat on a flat track.

Sachin Tendulkar, on 26 at the break, completed 1,000 runs against Pakistan.

Jaffer reached his ton in style, punching leg-spinner Danish Kaneria through the covers for his 18th boundary. He has so far struck 23 fours in his 163-ball knock.

India made the most of Pakistan's limited bowling resources after losing Dinesh Karthik in the morning's second over as Jaffer and Dravid (50) put on 136 for the second wicket to put their side on course for a big total.

Former captain Dravid fell just when he looked set a long innings. He shook his head in disbelief when adjudged caught behind off Kaneria by West Indies umpire Billy Doctrove.

Pakistan, grappling with injuries and illness to key players on Thursday, went into the match with four specialist bowlers but ace paceman Shoaib Akhtar hardly looked fit during his two short spells.

He bowled four overs at a lively pace in the morning and two in the afternoon before walking off the field.

Fast bowlers Mohammad Sami and Sohail Tanvir, and leg-spinner Kaneria, were unable to keep pressure on Jaffer and Dravid on a wicket with neither pace nor turn.

Tanvir struck with his first delivery when he had Karthik (one) caught by stand-in captain Younis Khan at second slip. It was the Indian batsman's third successive failure, having scored nine and one in the previous match.

Younis led the side in place of Shoaib Malik, who failed to recover from an ankle injury sustained while playing football after the first Test in New Delhi on Monday. Malik was replaced with middle-order batsman Faisal Iqbal.

Pakistan had to wait nearly three hours for their second wicket as Jaffer and Dravid dominated the attack with their exciting strokeplay.

Jaffer, who scored a half-century in the last match, looked in good form from the beginning as he drove and cut with authority.

He severely punished left-arm seamer Tanvir in the morning session, hammering four boundaries in an over. He then hit the same bowler for three successive fours in the afternoon.

India lead 1-0 in the three-Test series following their six-wicket victory in the opening match.

Brief Score (at tea, D-1):

India 206 for 2 (Wasim Jaffer 124*, Dravid 50, Tendulkar 26*; Tanvir 1 for 84, Kaneria 1 for 70) Vs Pakistan.


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