Bangalore: Sourav Ganguly closed in on his career-best score as India reached 461-6 in their first innings at lunch on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan here on Sunday.
The left-hander, whose best is 173, was unbeaten on 169 at the interval with Irfan Pathan (18).
Ganguly, playing his 99th Test, continued to grind a mediocre Pakistani attack as he comfortably added 44 to his overnight score of 125. He has so far struck one six and 23 fours in his 279-ball knock.
Resuming at 365-5, India faced no problems gathering runs on an easy-paced pitch as Ganguly and his overnight partner Dinesh Karthik added 53 in the opening hour.
Debutant seamer Yasir Arafat was the lone successful bowler when he had Karthik (24) caught behind for his fourth victim of the innings, but not before the batsman had added 66 for the sixth wicket with Ganguly.
Karthik again missed out on a big score ahead of the Australian tour. He is now under pressure to retain his Test berth, having scored just 63 in five innings against the tourists.
Pakistan captain Younis Khan had only three specialist bowlers at his disposal as a fit-again paceman Shoaib Akhtar was unable to bowl in the morning after being off the field for than a session on Saturday due to back pain.
Fast bowlers Mohammad Sami and Arafat, and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria all tried hard but failed to trouble Ganguly, who continued to play handsome strokes all round the wicket.
It was a frustrating morning for Pakistan as they conceded 96 runs off 27 overs in the two-hour session, with Ganguly doing the bulk of scoring.
Arafat has so far taken 4-136 and Sami 2-114.
India lead 1-0 in the series following a six-wicket victory in the opening Test in New Delhi. The second match ended in a draw in Kolkata.
Brief Scores (at lunch, D-2):
India Ist innings 461/6 (Ganguly 169*, Yuvraj 169; Arafat 4 for 136, Sami 2 for 114) Vs Pakistan