Pakistan 50 for 1 at stumps on Day 2

Pakistan were 50 for one in reply to India's first innings score of 616/5 declared at close on day two of the second Test at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

updated: December 02, 2007 15:46 IST
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Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman cracked fluent tons to propel India to their highest-ever total on home soil against Pakistan and help the hosts take command of the second cricket Test with a mammoth first innings score on the second day of the match on Saturday.

Local hero Ganguly (102) shook off his Eden Gardens jinx to get to his first three figure score on the ground while also partnering stylish batsman Laxman (112 not out) to a 163-run fifth wicket stand, before skipper Anil Kumble declared the Indian innings at 616 for loss of 5, an hour into the post tea session.

India's previous highest total was 539 for 9 at Madras in 1960-61.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni also contributed to India's total, being 50 not out.

In reply, Pakistan were 50 for one in 16 overs when stumps were drawn early with bad light stopping the play.

Opener Yaseer Hameed was foxed by Anil Kumble's flipper as early as in the eighth over to demoralise the visiting side in chase of the huge score. Pakistan is struggling in Tests after one-day series defeat against India.

Salman Butt was batting 26 and Younis Khan was on 3 at close.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 352 for 3, Indian batsmen continued to pile on the misery on the tourists, with Wasim Jaffer achieving a well-deserved double century in the morning.

Stand-in skipper Younis Khan was at his wit's end to check the marauding Indian willowers on the dry track, as the visitors' partially fit pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar could manage to bowl only in short spells.

Ganguly was particularly severe on pacer Sohail Tanvir, and hit the youngster for four delightful boundaries in the 100th over of the innings after India crossed the 400 mark in the previous over.

Ganguly, however, departed a short while after posting his hundred, when he tried to hoist Salman Butt over mid wicket but failed to time the shot properly to finish in the hands of Sohail Tanvir.

Ganguly's innings included 14 boundaries during a 246-minute stint, during which he faced 156 balls.

It was a memorable day for both Ganguly and his countless admirers here as the prince of Kolkata reached his 14th Test hundred by pushing Kaneria to mid off for a single 85 minutes into the post lunch session.

The entire Eden Gardens erupted in celebration as Ganguly raised his willow and almost jumped in joy.

The elegant Laxman (264 mins, 178 balls) also seemed in blazing form as he executed several sweetly timed strokes during his aggressive knock studded with 15 hits to the fence.

Laxman took a single to get to his hundred in the post tea session with a single from a short arm pull to deep midwicket of leg spinner Danish Kaneria.

The Hyderabadi's 11th hundred in 85 Tests came of 158 balls after a 233-minute stay in the middle.

The Indians had much to cheer for in the morning, with Jaffer cantering to his double hundred in style in speedster Shoaib Akhtar's opening over after Sami.

Jaffer, overnight unbeaten on 192, sent the second delivery scurrying to the cover fence with a full-blooded drive, before dispatching the fourth ball to the backward point boundary to get his second Test double ton.

The landmark was reached in 374 minutes of 260 balls.

The 50 of the fourth wicket partnership between the Mumbai Batsman and Ganguly was posted soon, but it was curtains for Jaffer a little later, as Sohail Tanvir yet again tasted success with his first ball of the day.

The young Pakistan pacer, who had got rid of Dinesh Karthik with his opening ball yesterday, replaced Shoaib and bowled one that moved away after pitching on the off-stump.

Jaffer offered his willow, and wicket keeper Kamran Akmal gleefully accepted the edge bringing the curtains down on the Indian opener's 402-minute knock embellished with 34 boundaries.

Jaffer and Ganguly put on 62 runs for the fourth wicket in 77 minutes.

India moved to 552 for 2 at tea, and Dhoni (6x4, 1x6) brought up the 600 of the innings with a single by placing Kaneria to covers. He also plundered 18 runs with a six in the next over of Salman Butt before effecting the declaration.