Tendulkar's controversial dismissal leaves Test in balance
by AFP

Ground:Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:SR Tendulkar, RS Dravid, Abdul Razzaq, A Kumble
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 18th March 2005


Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid built on Anil Kumble's effort with half-centuries to put the second Test against Pakistan in an intriguing position here.


Tendulkar scored a solid 52 before falling to a dubious decision and Dravid hit an unbeaten 54 as India recovered from a shaky 23-2 to reach 133-3 at stumps on the third day of fluctuating fortunes for an overall lead of 147.


Skipper Sourav Ganguly (four) kept Dravid company when bad light stopped play 11 minutes before the scheduled close on Friday.


Tendulkar was given out caught behind off seamer Abdul Razzaq by West Indies umpire Steve Bucknor, standing in a record 100th Test.


TV replays later suggested that the ball had missed the bat. The umpiring decision angered a section of the 35,000-strong crowd which jeered Bucknor.


Leg-spinner Kumble earlier claimed three scalps in seven overs during a Pakistani collapse which saw the tourists lose their last eight wickets for 112 runs on a slow-turning Eden Gardens pitch.


Pakistan looked set to gain a big lead after being strongly placed at 281-2 in reply to India's first-innings total of 407, before being bowled out for 393 to concede a lead of 14.


Pakistan hit back strongly when paceman Mohammad Sami bowled openers Virender Sehwag (15) and Gautam Gambhir (one) in his first two overs.


India had to rely on Tendulkar and Dravid to pull themselves out of trouble. The pair launched a vigorous counter-attack to boost their team's hopes of setting a stiff target on a track expected to favour spin on the last two days.


Tendulkar, who made 94 and 52 in his previous two innings against Pakistan, completed his third successive half-century in the last session when he cut Razzaq for his ninth four.


Dravid was also in form, having already scored a half-century and a hundred in the last two innings. He again dominated the Pakistani attack, reaching his half-century with a pulled four off Razzaq in fading light.


Kumble enhanced India's chances of gaining the lead when he had well-set Younis Khan (147) caught by Venkatsai Laxman at second slip in his second over after lunch.


Younis had played a major role in putting his team in a strong position, adding 211 for the third wicket with Yousuf Youhana (104) and 50 for the next with skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq (30).


Younis, 108 overnight, hit 19 fours in his 258-ball knock.


The remaining batsmen failed to read Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as the tourists lost their last five wickets in the space of 32 runs.


The Indian spin duo drove home the advantage achieved by seamers Laxmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan, who shared two big wickets in the morning session.


Balaji provided a crucial breakthrough when he dismissed Youhana, trapped leg-before offering no stroke.


Youhana, who added three to his overnight score of 101, hit 13 fours in his 179-ball knock.


Inzamam, who made two consecutive half-centuries in the drawn opening Test at Mohali last week, again looked dangerous as he executed some fluent strokes on both sides of the wicket.


But Pathan claimed the prize wicket of the Pakistan captain, who was caught behind.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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