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Ganguly puts India well on top
Ganguly's 239 lifts India to a huge 626 on day two of the final Test with Pakistan.
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2007 13:41 GMT

Ganguly scored his maiden Test double-century as India piled on the runs against Pakistan [AFP]

Sourav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan posted career-best scores as India amassed 626 runs in their first innings, before Pakistan reached 86 for 1 in reply at stumps on day two of the third and final Test in Bangalore.
Ganguly cracked an elegant 239 for his maiden Test double-century, while Pathan marked his comeback with an explosive 102, which was his first Test hundred, helping India to their massive first innings score.
However Pakistan made a strong reply with opener Salman Butt unbeaten after an aggressive 50 and stand-in captain Younis Khan on seven, but the tourists still require 341 more runs to avoid the follow-on.
 
Left-handed Butt swept leg-spinner Anil Kumble for a ninth four to reach his half-century, and also punished paceman Ishant Sharma, hitting three consecutive boundaries.
 

"It's very satisfying to make a double-century."

Sourav Ganguly,
Indian batsman

India's 626 was their highest total against Pakistan at home, beating the previous best of 616 for 5 declared in the second Test of the current series at Kolkata last week.
 
Ganguly and Pathan put the Pakistani attack to the sword with thrilling strokeplay on a good batting track, adding 178 for the seventh wicket and overshadowing Pakistani seamer Yasir Arafat, who finished with an impressive five wickets on his Test debut.
 
Ganguly and Pathan cut loose
 
Ganguly, 125 overnight, reached his double-hundred in the afternoon when he drove Arafat through the covers for two runs, his previous best being 173 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 1997.
 
"It's one of my best innings. It was very important in the context of the series," said Ganguly.
 
"The pitch is going to keep low. We are in with a chance (of winning the series).
 
"It's very satisfying to make a double-century."
Lower-order batsman Pathan, 23, went on the rampage in his first Test in more than a year as he smashed four sixes and 10 fours in his 133-ball knock.
 
He needed four runs to complete his century when last-man Sharma joined him, but he did it in style when he hoisted leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for his fourth six.
 
It was a frustrating day for Pakistan, who struggled for more than two sessions to claim the remaining five wickets after the hosts had resumed at 365 for 5.
 
Shoaib's absence hurts Pakistan
 
Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan paceman, left his side a bowler short as he was unable to resume bowling after being off the field for more than a session on Saturday due to back pain. He was not given a single over even when he became eligible to bowl.
 
Younis was left with only three specialist bowlers but seamers Mohammad Sami and Arafat, and Kaneria were ineffective on an unhelpful wicket.
 
Ganguly and Pathan made the most of the excellent batting conditions, reducing the Pakistani bowlers and fielders to a state of helplessness during their big partnership, as they added 96 from 27 overs in the morning and 150 off 30 in the afternoon.

Ganguly, 35, was bowled attempting to sweep Kaneria in the afternoon session.
 
Pakistan got one wicket in the morning when Arafat had Dinesh Karthik caught behind for 24, but not before the batsman had added 66 for the sixth wicket with Ganguly.
 
Karthik again missed out on a big innings ahead of the Australian tour and is now under pressure to retain his Test place, having scored a total of 63 runs in five innings against the tourists.
Source:
Agencies
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