affer, Dravid bolster India

Published: Friday, November 30, 2007, 11:47 [IST]
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Wasim Jaffer hit an impressive half-century as India recovered from an early blow to reach 104-1 at lunch on the opening day of the second Test against Pakistan here on Friday.

The opener (65 not out) put on 102 for an unfinished second-wicket stand with former captain Rahul Dravid (35 not out) after the dismissal of opener Dinesh Karthik (one) in the morning's second over.

Jaffer looked in good form from the beginning, striking the ball fluently during his 81-ball knock. He hammered left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir for four fours in an over before reaching his 10th half-century.

India, electing to bat, lost Karthik cheaply before Dravid and Jaffer denied Pakistan further success with their sensible knocks on a good batting track.

Dravid looked solid during his 114-minute stay at the crease, executing handsome shots in front of the wicket. He has so far hit five fours in his 80-ball knock.

Jaffer dominated the Pakistani attack, hitting fast bowler Mohammad Sami for two successive boundaries. He has so far struck 11 fours.

Pakistan, struggling with fitness problems on Thursday, got a boost when in-form paceman Shoaib Akhtar recovered in time from a chest infection. He bowled at a lively pace in his four-over opening spell, conceding just nine.

But it was Tanvir who provided the breakthrough when he removed Karthik with his first delivery.

Karthik, who scored nine and one in the opening match, failed for a third successive time when he fell to a regulation slip catch by stand-in captain Younis Khan.

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.

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

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