Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) India needed nine wickets in the remaining two sessions and Pakistan 308 runs as the match hangs in balance after India declared their second innings at 184 for four on the final day of the second Test at the Eden gardens here today.
At lunch Kamran Akhmal was batting on 14 and Salman Butt on eight, at 37 for one. The way the duo played, it was evident they would be happy with a draw. And that is precisely why Kamran was sent to bat first. He can be a real grafter frustrating the bowlers.
Butt at the other end was a natural strokemaker, making it an ideal combination now.
Commencing the day at 141 for two, India played for 38 minutes before they declared setting Pakistan a target of 345 to win.
Sourav Ganguly, who was bowled on 46 by Akhtar, reached another personal milestone.
If he thought the 'burden' was off his shoulders when he hit his maiden ton at the Eden, he had the rare distinction of entering the 6000-run club along with Sir Don Bradman who leads the table with 6996 runs from just 52 matches.
The other three Indians in the club are current chairman of National selectors Dilip vensarkar (6868), Md Azharuddin (6215) and G R viswanath (6080). Then there are Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid who are at the top of the heap.
Ganguly reached the milestone in his 98th Test accumulating 6016 runs at an average of 41.48 with 14 centuries to his name. Scores of 102 and 46 in the two innings here was enough to get him to the landmark. He needed 132 runs to reach the 6000 runs club, and did so with a couple to Shaoib Akhtar reaching 30 in his second innings.
He was finally gone for 46 trying a wild swipe to push the scoring.
India immediately declared at 184 for four, with Dravid not out on eight.
Dhoni was the first to go adding just nine to his overnight score of 24 when he was bowled by Shoaib Akhtar trying an ambitious hoik over extracover.
Pakistan made a change in their batting line-up, sending Kamran Akhmal to bat with Yasser Hameed. They began steadily before Zaheer Khan who went wicketless in the first innings, foxed him with a slower, inducing a a false stroke which Khan accepted.
One down for 22 and the match was on.
Kumble did his best, rotating the bowling as best as he could, bringing himself first up and applying pressure from the very first over.