Yuvraj, Ganguly propel India to a challenging total in Bangalore Test

December 8th, 2007 - 8:55 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, Dec.8 (ANI): Middle-order batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly stroked sublime centuries to wrest control of the third and final Test against Pakistan on Saturday, the first day of the match.
The Indians who opted to bat first on the placid and times double-paced M.A.Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, were intially rocked by bowling all-rounder Yasir Arafat’s three wickets on debutbefore lunch.
Staring down the barrel at 61 for 4, both Yuvraj and Ganguly reconstructed the Indian innings in magnificent fashion, posting a 300-run partnership before Yuvraj was caught off the bowling of Mohammad Sami.
Pakistan’s challenge was affected by fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar going off the field after lunch with back spasms, and the final two sessions showcased the prowess of the Indian batting line-up in all its glory.
Yuvraj, who scored a blistering 203-ball 169, gave a chance to the Pakistan slip fielders when his individual score was a paltry 12. But thereafter, he was the master, plummeling Pakistani bowlers to all corners of the ground with strokes that had class written all over it. A cut through cover took Yuvraj to his third century, all of them against his favourite opposition. There was a jubilant leap in the air and a prolonged hug from Ganguly,
Ganguly was an equally classy effort, and was no less valuable in providing India a bridgehead. At the close of play, he was unbeaten on 125 with 20 boundaries, and had wiketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthick for company.
On his 15th Test century, and second in succession, Ganguly raised his bat to acknowledge the applause from an enraptured crowd.
The partnership so demoralised Pakistan that the second new ball was taken only after 84 overs, with Younis also conscious of a dismal over-rate. Initially, it made not the slightest bit of difference, with Ganguly and Yuvraj continuing to score runs at will, there was no other option.
The Pakistan bowler of the day was Arafat, who replaced Sohail Tanvir in the bowling line-up. Arafat, who had a good county season with Kent, snared Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer and V.V.S.Laxman in an inspired spell of fast bowling. Dravid was caught at at first slip by Misbah-ul-Haq. Jaffer padded up to one that moved into him, while Laxman was bowled.
At 365 for five, India has a good chance of putting up an imposing total and then asking Pakistan to bat for the rest of the match. (ANI)

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