India secure 160-run lead despite Misbah heroics

Published: Monday, December 3, 2007, 15:26 [IST]
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Kolkata: India gained a handsome 160-run lead in the second Test against Pakistan despite a brave century by Misbah-ul-Haq at Eden Gardens here on Monday.

Misbah remained unbeaten with 161 before Pakistan were bowled out for 456 in their first innings in reply to India's mammoth 616-5 declared.

The hosts were 20 for no loss in their second innings at tea on the penultimate day for an overall lead of 180. Wasim Jaffer (13) and Dinesh Karthik (five) were batting at the interval.

The tourists, needing 417 to avert the follow-on, achieved their objective when Misbah turned part-time seamer Sourav Ganguly to square-leg for two runs just before the lunch-break.

Resuming at 358-6, Pakistan were indebted to Misbah and tailender Mohammad Sami (38) for forcing India to bat again as they put on 91 crucial runs for the seventh wicket.

It was part-time spinner Venkatsai Laxman who finally broke the stubborn stand in the afternoon session when he dismissed Sami, caught by Jaffer while attempting a big shot.

Sami thwarted the Indian attack for three hours, hitting a six off leg-spinner Anil Kumble and two fours.

India made short work of Pakistan's innings after the dismissal of Sami, claiming the remaining three wickets in the space of seven runs. The last three batsmen failed to open their accounts.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh finished with 5-122, his 20th haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings. Kumble took three wickets.

Misbah added 53 runs to his overnight score of 108, hitting a six off Harbhajan and 14 fours in his 351-ball knock.

Pakistan frustrated India with their gutsy batting display as Misbah and Sami batted cautiously to add 60 runs in the two-hour morning session.

India had just one opportunity to break the stand but former skipper Rahul Dravid dropped a catch at slip to let off Sami off Kumble. The batsman was then on seven.

India opened with a double spin-attack, but neither Kumble nor Harbhajan could trouble Misbah and Sami on an easy-paced pitch. Fast bowler Zaheer Khan also went wicketless in his five overs.

West Indies umpire Billy Doctrove was off the field for an hour in the morning session after feeling unwell. He was replaced with third-umpire Amish Saheba of India.

Brief Scores (at tea, D-4):

India 616/5 decl and 20/0 Vs Pakistan 456 (Misbah 161*, Akmal 119, Mohd Sami 38; Harbhajan 5 for 122, Kumble 3 for 122).


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