India are 352 for 3 as Pakistan struggle on day one of the second Test in Kolkata.
|Indian captain Anil Kumble reacts after taking the wicket of Paksitan’s Salman Butt during
the last day [AFP]
Pakistan’s Younis Khan hit a masterful unbeaten century to lead his team to the safety of a draw in the second test against India.
The stand-in skipper scored 107 and shared in an unbroken 136-run stand for the fifth wicket with Mohammad Yousuf (44) to help the visitors recover from 78 for four on an thrilling final day.
The visitors finished on 214-4 after being set a challenging target of 345 on a deteriorating Eden Gardens pitch to keep the series alive.
The result means India, who are 1-0 up after winning the opening test in New Delhi by six wickets, cannot lose the three-match series.
“We would have liked to make it 2-0 here but you have to give it to Pakistan for the way they batted,” Indian skipper Anil Kumble said afterwards.
“Misbah (ul-Haq) and Kamran (Akmal) in the first innings and (their batting) also in the second innings.”
“We wanted to finish the series here and had a great opportunity. But we go to Bangalore 1-0 up and we’re looking forward to a 2-0 series victory,” Kumble said.
Younis and Yousuf, the mainstays of Pakistan’s batting after Inzamam-ul-Haq retired earlier this year, dug in for 37 overs to thwart India in a display of solid technique and terrific concentration.
Younis, faced 182 balls in his 214-minute effort for his 15th century and the fifth against India.
The 33-year-old Yousuf faced 110 deliveries.
The hosts had declared their second innings closed on 184-4 after adding 43 runs to their overnight total for the loss of two wickets.
Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan gave India’s attack a perfect start when he dismissed opener Yasir Hameed caught and bowled for 14.
However, first-innings centurion Kamran Akmal (14) and Salman Butt (11) kept India at bay for nearly an hour before leg-spinner Kumble dismissed Akmal with the second ball after lunch.
Younis, leading in place of injured batsman Shoaib Malik, combined with Butt for nearly 15 overs on a pitch that afforded unpredictable bounce for spinners before skipper Kumble trapped left-handed Butt lbw.
Pacer Munaf dismissed first-innings centurion Misbah-ul-Haq for six in his second spell in the second session, to give India a scent of victory.
Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who took five wickets in the first innings, operated with a minimum of three fielders in catching positions to pressure the batsmen but Younis and Yousuf batted out 143 minutes together to force a draw.
India’s overnight third-wicket pair of Saurav Ganguly (46) and Mahendra Dhoni (37) took their stand to 71 before fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar dismissed them in quick succession.
Ganguly passed 6,000 test runs during the course of his innings.
Misbah scored a career-defining 161 not out before Pakistan were bowled out for 456 in their first innings on Monday in reply to India’s 616-5 declared.
Wasim Jaffer, who scored a double century in the home team’s first innings, was adjudged man of the match.
The final test starts in Bangalore on Saturday.