Jaffer puts India well on top

India are 352 for 3 as Pakistan struggle on day one of the second Test in Kolkata.

Indian opener  Wasim Jaffer scored an impressive 192 not out on day one of the
second Test as Pakistan struggled to take wickets in Kolkata [AFP]

Wasim Jaffer’s unbeaten 192 steered India to a commanding 352 for 3 at stumps on the first day of the second Test against Pakistan in Kolkata.

Opener Jaffer shared in two century partnerships to lay the foundations for an imposing total after the hosts won the toss and elected to bat on a flat Eden Gardens pitch.

The stylish 29-year-old smashed 32 boundaries in his fifth test century, but only his first against Pakistan, as he dominated a weak bowling attack.

“All hundreds are special. I have got only a few, so I’ll count all of them as special,” said Jaffer.

“Scoring 192 in a day is something I haven’t done before. I’ll try to score a double-hundred tomorrow and then as many as I can.

“I don’t think I have batted so fluently so far in my Test career. I have got a few starts in England (this year) and did not convert them into hundreds. So, I tried to be focused once I was past 60-70.”

Pakistan went into the match with injuries and illness to key players, and their gamble with semi-fit fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar backfired.

Akhtar, who was hospitalised on Tuesday for a chest infection, hardly looked at his best as he bowled four overs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening without taking a wicket.

Younis Khan led the tourists in the absence of regular captain Shoaib Malik, who was ruled out with an ankle injury, while paceman Mohammad Sami also passed a late fitness test.

Jaffer shared a 136-run stand for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid (50) after Dinesh Karthik fell early.

Jaffer, playing in his 24th test, then put on 175 for the third wicket with state team mate Sachin Tendulkar, who reached 1,000 runs against Pakistan during an effortless innings of 82.

A long day for Pakistan

Sohail Tanvir, Pakistan left-armer, struck with his first delivery when he had a tentative Karthik edge to stand-in skipper Younis Khan at second slip for one, giving the visitors an excellent start in just the second over of the day.

However Pakistan, who trail 1-0 in the three-Test series, had to wait until an hour after lunch for their next wicket.

In-form Jaffer reached his century off 150 balls with a fine cover drive off Danish Kaneria after Dravid was unluckily given out caught behind to the leg spinner in his second spell.

Jaffer, who faced 255 balls, was particularly severe on the erratic Tanvir, playing in his second test, who he hit for four boundaries in a single over to reach his 50. In total, he lashed the left-armer for 18 boundaries.

Jaffer drove fluently on either side of the wicket and raced towards a double century when fading light stopped play with Saurav Ganguly unbeaten on 17 at the other end.

“The Pakistani bowling was hampered a bit by the fact that Akhtar was not fully fit, but it was just one of the good days for the Indian team,” said Jaffer.

“It feels good that we are in a strong position.”

Source : News Agencies

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