Second Test enters final day in interesting stage

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Kolkata : Pakistan fought back heroically to make a match of the second Test against India, but by the end of the fourth and penultimate day Monday the home team have established an overall lead of 301 runs, ensuring an exciting final day’s action.

Support TwoCircles

Gaining a first-innings lead of 160 after Pakistan stretched their innings to 456, India were 141 for two off 36 overs in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day at the Eden Gardens.

At the close of play, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on 28 (75 minutes, 53 balls, 1×4) and Sourav Ganguly 24 (52 minutes, 36 balls, 2x4s).

A sizable crowd appreciated the Indian intentions to try and force a victory on the fifth day Tuesday as opener Wasim Jaffer followed up his first-innings’ double century with a brisk half-century (56, 108 minutes, 75 balls, 8x4s), displaying a cool temperament and sweet strokes, and Dinesh Karthik sacrificing his wicket in search of quick runs.

Replying to India’s first-innings’ 616 for five wickets declared, Pakistan, riding on Misbah-ul-Haq’s maiden century (161 not out, 523 minutes, 351 balls, 13x4s, 1×6) and Kamran Akmal’s rearguard 119, posted an unexpectedly high score. Yet, India had a good enough lead to apply pressure on Pakistan as they went in for their knock.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took his 20th five-wicket haul – his second against Pakistan-in his 59th match, finishing with five for 122 in 45.5 overs. Only captain Anil Kumble, who captured three wickets for 122, bowled more overs than him. The leg-spinner sent down 47 overs.

The ball is in India’s court and it remains to be seen how rapidly their batsmen could score Tuesday morning and declare to give sufficient time to the bowlers to try and bowl out Pakistan a second time. If the match ends in a draw, it would be a moral victory for Pakistan.

India’s lead would have been much bigger but for 207-run sixth-wicket between Misbah and Kamran bailed out Pakistan from a precarious 150 for four. Pakistan not only avoided the follow-on, but also gave them a chance to force a draw.

The other useful contributors were stand-in captain Younis Khan (43), Salman Butt (42) and Mohammed Sami (38).

Day Four, Second Test, India-Pakistan, Eden Gardens, Kolkata

India (1st innings): 616/5 decl.

Pakistan (1st innings, overnight 358/6):

Salman Butt c Dravid b Harbhajan 42
Yasir Hameed lbw b Kumble 21
Younis Khan c Dhoni b Patel 43
Mohammad Yousuf b Harbhajan 6
Misbah-ul-Haq not out 161
Faisal Iqbal lbw b Kumble 0
Kamran Akmal b Harbhajan 119
Mohammed Sami c Jaffer b Laxman 38
Sohail Tanvir c Dravid b Kumble 0
Shoaib Akhtar c Dravid b Harbhajan 0
Danish Kaneria b Harbhajan 0
Extras: (byes 8, leg byes 7, wide 1, no balls 10) 26
Total: (all out in 151.1 overs) 456

Fall of wickets: 1-38 (Hameed, 7.5 overs), 2-77 (Butt, 25.3), 3-85 (Yousuf, 27.5), 4-134 (Younis, 37.1), 5-150 (Faisal, 40.2), 6-357 (Akmal, 102.3), 7-448 (Sami, 145.5), 8-449 (Tanveer, 146.5), 9-452 (Akhtar, 149.3)


Zaheer Khan 25.2 8 69 0 (5nb)
Munaf Patel 21 4 85 1 (1w)
Harbhajan Singh 45.5 9 122 5 (1nb)
Anil Kumble 47 14 122 3 (3nb)
Sachin Tendulkar 7 1 32 0
Sourav Ganguly 4 1 9 0
V.V.S. Laxman 1 0 2 1

India (2nd innings):

Wasim Jaffer b Kaneria 56
Dinesh Karthik c Misbah b Kaneria 28
Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting 28
Sourav Ganguly batting 24

Extras: (leg byes 2, no balls 3) 5
Total: (for two wickets in 36 overs) 141

Fall of wickets: 1-75 (Karthik, 18.5 overs), 2-95 (Jaffer, 23.3),


Shoaib Akhtar 9 0 24 0 (2nb)
Sohail Tanvir 9 0 41 0 (1nb)
Mohammad Sami 5 1 28 0
Danish Kaneria 12 0 41 2
Salman Butt 1 0 5 0

Umpires: Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
Third umpire: Amiesh Saheba (India)
Fourth umpire: K.G. Laxminarayan (India)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)