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India keep dogged Pakistan at bay


Second Test, Calcutta (day four, stumps): India 616-5 & 141-2 v Pakistan 456

Match scorecard


By David Ornstein



India remain in control of the second Test despite Pakistan's stubborn effort with the bat on day four in Calcutta.


Misbah-ul-Haq (161no) and Mohammad Sami (38) fought hard as Pakistan made the 417 required to avoid the follow-on.


But Harbhajan Singh took four wickets after lunch to bowl out Pakistan for 456 and India closed on 141-2.


Dinesh Karthik (28) and Wasim Jaffer (56) both went but Mahendra Dhoni (28) and Sourav Ganguly (24) were unbeaten as India moved into a 301-run lead.


Both openers fell to the spin of Danish Kaneria as they attempted to up the run rate with some aggressive, and at times careless, hitting.


Having already bludgeoned two splendid boundaries off Kaneria's fourth over, Karthik's attempted a slog sweep over mid-wicket only to top edge into the hands of Misbah at square leg and departed for 28.


Jaffer, dropped on nought, showed similar impatience five overs later when he looked to give the same treatment to a full delivery that turned outside leg stump and was clean bowled for 56.


India's urgency stems from the knowledge that a Test in which they seemed almost certain of victory is now sliding towards a draw.


For that Pakistan largely have Misbah and Sami to thank.


The pair picked up where they left off on day three with a gutsy and disciplined batting display in the morning session.


After the tourists slumped to 150-5, Misbah and Kamran Akmal (119) led the fightback before the impressive Sami helped hoist them into contention.


Pakistan resumed on 358-6 and after a cautious start Misbah soon opened up, lofting Harbhajan straight down the ground for six in the fifth over.


India's only genuine opportunity came three overs later when Sami was dropped by Rahul Dravid off the bowling of Anil Kumble.


A series of bat-pad and leg-before appeals were turned down before Pakistan passed their follow-on target shortly before lunch.


"The morning session was crucial because anything could have happened if they had got the follow-on," said Misbah.


"We could have batted again, so those two-three hours that we batted was crucial."


India bowled with greater urgency after the re-start and both batsmen were fortunate to survive.


Sami nicked a Kumble delivery onto his pads and into the hands of Karthik, while Misbah appeared to be trapped leg-before by Munaf Patel, yet both appeals were turned down.


Misbah went on to reach 150 and was Pakistan's last man standing as the final wickets eventually tumbled.


Sami miss-hit VVS Laxman into the hands of Jaffer and then Kumble had Sohail Tanvir caught acrobatically by Dravid in the slips for a duck.


Harbhajan wrapped up the innings, completing a five-for by dismissing Shoaib Akhtar and Kaneria, who failed to trouble the scorers.


"The wicket is responding to spin," said Dhoni. "On the fourth and fifth days, the game changes very quickly in India. The ball is not turning sharply, but if you bowl in the roughs it's turning and the bounce is inconsistent, so that's a plus for us."


India lead the three-match series 1-0 following their win in New Delhi but a draw for Pakistan in Calcutta would see them head to Bangalore for the final Test in high spirits.


"It was not easy to bat second in these conditions," Misbah added. "So if a team fights back, the confidence level goes up and that is what happened to us. If we manage to draw the Test, it will be good for us."

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I didn't find it funny.... :huh:


I like Cricket... it's like baseball, only more fun and without the stupid trousers :P

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I didn't find it funny.... :huh:


I like Cricket... it's like baseball, only more fun and without the stupid trousers :P



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