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Jaffar, Dravid lead strong Indian reply to England's 393

Written by: Staff

Nagpur, Mar 2 (UNI) Wasim Jaffer celebrated his comeback into the national team with a chanceless unbeaten 73 as India regained initiatives after Paul Collingwood's maiden ton powered England to a respectable 393 in their first innings on day two of the first Test here today.

At close of play on the second day of the first Test here, the hosts were 136 for one with Jaffer on 73 and Dravid on 40.

Earlier in the morning, Paul Collingwood, in company of tailenders, bailed England out as the last three wickets put on 149 runs to take the visitors close to the 400 mark even though they eventually fell seven runs shy of the mark.

Collingwood added 60 runs for the ninth wicket with Steve Harmison, who played a cameo 41-ball 39 with seven boundaries and then 66 for the last with Monty Panesar to rescue England on a perfect batting wicket.

However, for all the heroics of the tail, the main hero for England was Collingwood who remained unbeaten on a brilliant 134.

The middle-order batsman played sensible cricket giving the strike to Harmison when the fast bowler was going hammer and tongs at the Indians and then attacked the Indian bowling, which did not have a clue after the departure of Harmison.

Collingwood hit with gusto taking on off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for a six to reach 99 and then toyed with Irfan Pathan, hitting him for a six and a four to the long on fence.

Collingwood's unbeaten 134 came in 244 balls and was studded with 13 fours and four huge sixers.

Meanwhile, India started off on a bright note with Jaffer getting of the mark with an on-drive of Matthew Hoogard in his first over.

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