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    March 16, 2005

    India fritters away batting advantage after Tendulkar reaches milestone

    Rahul Dravid's dismissal in the last over of the first day's play at Eden Gardens tilted the scales in Pakistan's favour. India ended up at 344/6, something they should never have got to after being 278/2 with Dravid and Tendulkar well set. Instead it was middle-order madness combined with good bowling by Pakistan which resulted in Pakistan being much happier at the end of the third session than they were at the beginning.

    India brought in Harbhajan and left out Zaheer while Pakistan included Afridi and Mohammad Khalil at the expense of Salman Butt and the injured Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. Steve Bucknor was felicitated for a century of tests as an umpire. Sehwag and Gambhir got India off to yet another solid start, putting on 80 for the first wicket at over 4 an over. Yet again, Gambhir got out, lbw attempting to sweep Kaneria's googly, after getting off to a start. Sehwag continued from where he left off at Mohali (and Multan earlier) as he got to his 9th test fifty. A tenth century was his for the taking but Afridi frustrated him into indiscretion and Inzamam held a good catch running backwards from extra-cover. Tendulkar and Dravid ensured that tea was taken with India in a good position at 225/2.

    Shortly after tea, Tendulkar brought up his 10,000th test run, joining a few others who could hold a bat. Lara and he have reached the milestone in the same number of innings, 195. A few boundaries in quick succession suggested that he would not torture us in his passage to a century but he needlessly chased a wide delivery from Afridi and was caught behind. He has already justified his inclusion in the side. Ganguly made 12 runs, with three boundaries and was out to Razzaq fishing outside off-stump. The next ball brought another wicket with Laxman trapped lbw, although there was some doubt about whether the ball would have missed the leg-stump. Dinesh Karthik prevented a hat-trick and in the company of Dravid, who reached his 19th test century, added nearly 50 runs. He definitely needs to make a decent score to keep away Parthiv and Dhoni. Dravid's knock was a superbly paced one. He ensured that even while the others were scoring rapidly, he did not slack off. His dismissal in the last over of the day, edging Kaneria to Akmal, brought Pakistan back into the game. This is only the fourth time he has been dismissed for less than 120 after crossing a century.

    India will hope that with the likes of Pathan, Harbhajan, Balaji and Kumble yet to bat, they can put on around 100 more runs. Pakistan would love to finish off the tail before India reach 375. Dont forget to come back here to know what happened.

    Photos from all the action in the game.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 5:04 PM |
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