Ganguly, Laxman add to Pakistan~~s misery

Published: Saturday, December 1, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman looked in rare touch as India piled up 449 for four at lunch after Wasim Jaffer got out on 202 on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan here today.

At lunch, Ganguly was unbeaten on 62 and Laxman batting on 41 in an unbroken partnership of 74 runs for the fifth wicket as India scored 449 for four off 109 overs.

In the morning, stylish Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer took just eight minutes and four deliveries to walk into the record books of becoming the fifth Indian to score a double-hundred against Pakistan.

Beginning the day at 192, Jaffer was focused on reaching the landmark. The second delivery from Shoaib Akhtar saw him driving through the covers, the next ball he played defensively, the very next ball he cut ferociously to the square boundary to complete the magical 200.

If the innings he played had class written all over it, his dismissal was soft as he nicked an away going delivery from Sohail Tanvir to Kamran Akhmal for 202. His innings spread over 274 balls was studded with 34 boundaries.

Understandably, the concentration was broken after he completed his double ton, and the charged, wide-eyed Jaffer was savouring the moment.

A walk to the middle of the pitch, raising his helmet and bat and then kissing the Indian logo spoke it all.

The other batsmen to have crossed this milestone against Pakistan are Anshuman Gaekwad in 1982-83 when he scored 2001 in Jalandhar, followed by Sanjay Manjrekar (218) at Karachi in 1989-90.

Rahul Dravid got 270 at Rawalpindi in 2003-04 and Virender Sehwag repeated it three times over -- 309 at Multan in 2003-04, 204 at Bangalore in 2004-05 and 254 in Lahore in 2005-06.

Jaffer's dismissal brought an end to the 62 run partnership with Sourav Ganguly as Indian's were reduced to 375 for four.

Ganguly and Laxman looked to be in the middle of a purple touch as India raced past 407, their previous best against Pakistan in a Test match, that was incidentally recorded at the same venue in 2005-06.

Ganguly raced to his 30th Test fifty and fourth one against Paksitan, in the eleven times he played them, off just 72 balls as he slashed Mohd. Sami to the fence to reach 51.

At lunch, he was three short of another personal milestone -- of overshadowing his previous best of 65 against Australia in 1997-98 at this venue.

He looked to be in fine form on 62 not out with nine boundaries under his belt off 92 balls.

At the other end, Laxman was playing another lip-smacking innings. A straight drive off Sohail Tanvir and then a cover drive followed by a flick off the legs by the silken Hyderabadi showed Eden was still his favourite hunting ground.

He remained unbeaten on 41 with seven boundaries off 55 balls and looking good for many more.

Pakistan looked rather radarless. Shoaib Akhtar was bowling everywhere, Sami still looked like recovering -- fragile and delicate -- often like a daisy and Danish Kaneria still needs time.

Only Tanvir looked to be bowling with some purpose.


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