Ganguly hits maiden Eden ton as India pile up 552

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Kolkata, Dec 1 (UNI) On a day when records tumbled, Wasm Jaffer and Sourav Ganguly reached personal milestones as India reached a mammoth 552 for 5 at tea against Pakistan on the second day of the second Test here today.

Laxman was batting on 91 and giving him company was MS Dhoni on 9 at tea, with India on 552, their highest against Pakistan at home. The previous best was 539 for nine declared at then Madras (now Chennai) in 196-61.

If the morning belonged to Wasim Jaffer who reached the magical figure of 202 before getting out, the afternoon belonged to old warhorse Sourav Ganguly who hit his maiden ton at Eden Gardens.

In the morning, stylish Mumbai opener Jaffer took just eight minutes and four deliveries to walk into the record books of becoming the fifth Indian to score a double-hundred against Pakistan.

Beginning the day at 192, Jaffer was focused on reaching the landmark. The second delivery from Shoaib Akhtar saw him driving through the covers, the next ball he played defensively, the very next ball he cut ferociously to the square boundary to complete the magical 200.

If the innings he played had class written all over it, his dismissal was soft as he nicked an away going delivery from Sohail Tanvir to Kamran Akhmal for 202. His innings spread over 274 balls was studded with 34 boundaries. Understandably, the concentration was broken after he completed his double ton, and the charged, wide-eyed Jaffer was savouring the moment.

The other batsmen to have crossed this milestone against Pakistan are Anshuman Gaekwad in 1983-84 when he scored 201 at Jalandhar, followed by Sanjay Manjrekar at Karachi in 1989-90 when he hit a gritty 218. Rahul Dravid got 270 at Rawalpindi in 2003-04 and Virender Sehwag repeated it three times over -- 309 at Multan in 2003-04, 204 at Bangalore in 2004-05 and 254 in Lahore in 2005-06.

Jaffer's dismissal brought an end to the 62-run partnership with Sourav Ganguly as India were reduced to 375 for four.

At lunch, Ganguly was unbeaten on 62 and Laxman batting on 41 in an unbroken partnership of 74 runs for the fifth wicket as India scored 449 for four off 109 overs.

Ganguly reached his milestone after lunch. His first century at Eden and first against Pakistan, that too after 98 tests, plundering over 5000 runs and 13 centuries around the world. The 60,000 strong stadium rose and clapped in unison.

Ganguly raced to 91 with a boundary and thereafter took three singles and then pulled Kaneria to reach 98. Another single off Kaneria took him to 99 and a push to long off completed the historical moment.

He was gone for 102 caught Tanvir off Salman Butt, but his date with history was sealed. His innings had 14 boundaries off 156 balls.

Pakistan looked rather radarless. Shoaib Akhtar was bowling everywhere, Mohd. Sami still looked like recovering -- fragile and delicate -- often like a daisy and Danish Kaneria still needs time. Only Sohail Tanvir looked to be bowling with some purpose.

UNI

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