Ganguly misses century, India extends lead to 310 at lunch

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Bangalore, Dec 12 (UNI) India lost three quick wickets but reached 221 for five wickets against Pakistan in their second innings, extending their overall lead to 310 runs at lunch on the fifth and final day of the third test being played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

At lunch, VVS Laxman was unbeaten on 14 and Dinesh Karthik on 23.

Resuming at overnight score of 131 for two, India lost local boy Rahul Dravid (42), innings hero Saurav Ganguly (91) and Yuvraj Singh (2) in the first session with Mohammad Sami striking two vital blows in two overs.

Ganguly missed a good double, falling just nine runs short of his second century of the match. The 'Bengal tiger' had earlier struck a masterly 239 in the first innings.

Ganguly resumed the innings hitting Sami for a boundary in the very first over of the day. Before depating, the two former skippers extended the score to 178. Dravid was trapped in front of the wicket by Kaneria, while Sami scalped Ganguly caught at gully by Iqbal.

In his next over Sami, who got good bounce from the fifth day wicket, removed birthday boy Yuvraj Singh, who turned 27 today, with an edge into the hands of keeper Akmal.

Though three quick wickets in a span of just 18 balls affected the Indian progress, Laxman and Karthik seemed unperturbed. After the fall of Yuvraj, Laxman struck two stylish hits to the fence off a Sami over, while Karthik went berserk in the next Kaneria over, hitting the leg-spinner twice to the boundary. He also him Kaneria for a huge six in between the boundaries.

The 22-year-old Tamil Nadu keeper, who had been struggling for runs in this series, got a lifeline at his individual score of ten as stand-in-skipper Younis Khan dropped him at silly point on the fifth ball of a Kaneria over.

Ganguly, who has been the India's highest run getter in this series, crossed the 1000-run mark during the calender year when he reached 68 in the second innings. He has so far amassed 1023 runs.

In this series he has struck 526 runs which included a century in Kolkata and the double hundred in the first innings here with an average of 63.93.

Ganguly and Dravid, who came at the wicket with India losing its openers yesterday at the score of 26, added 152 runs in 182 min facing 232 balls to resurrect India's dominance in this match. The two raised 200 in the 58th over of the innings.

For Pakistan, Sami and Shoaib Akthar opened the attack in the morning, bowling five overs each but couldn't dent the two experienced batsmen. However, Sami struck in his impressive second spell that read 7-1-19-2.


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