Plucky Misbah helps Pak avoid follow-on

Published: Monday, December 3, 2007, 11:57 [IST]
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Kolkata: Misbah-ul-Haq hit an unbeaten 141 to help Pakistan avoid a follow-on in the second Test against India at Eden Gardens here on Monday.

The middle-order batsman put on 61 for an unfinished seventh-wicket stand with tailender Mohammad Sami (24 not out) as Pakistan reached 418-6 at lunch on the penultimate day in reply to India's mammoth 616-5 declared.

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 interval.

Resuming at 358-6, Pakistan frustrated India with their plucky batting display as Misbah and Sami batted cautiously to add 60 runs in the two-hour morning session.

India came across just one chance to break the stand but former skipper Rahul Dravid dropped a catch at slip to let off Sami off veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble. The batsman was then on seven.

Misbah, 108 overnight, executed some handsome shots against both pace and spin while Sami continued to defend resolutely to deny the hosts a breakthrough.

Misbah has so far struck a six off spinner Harbhajan Singh and 13 fours in his 303-ball knock. Sami hit a six off Kumble during his 86-ball knock.

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

West Indies umpire Billy Doctrove walked off the field after feeling unwell during the morning session. He was replaced with third-umpire Amish Saheba of India. K. G. Lakshminarayan of India took over as TV umpire.

Brief Score (at lunch, D-4):

India 616/5 Vs Pakistan 418/6 (Misbah 141*, Akmal 119, Mohd Sami 24*)


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