Imperious Jaffer puts India in control

Wasim Jaffer’s unbeaten 192 steered India to a commanding 352-3 at stumps on the first day of the second Test against Pakistan on Friday.

Opener Jaffer shared in two century partnerships to lay the foundations for an imposing total after the hosts chose to bat on a benign Eden Gardens pitch.

The stylish 29-year-old flayed 32 boundaries for a fifth Test century — his first against Pakistan — as he dominated a weak bowling attack.

Shoaib Akhtar, who had cleared a fitness Test in the morning, bowled just nine overs in four spells. Younis Khan led the side in the absence of captain Shoaib Malik, who was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Paceman Mohammad Sami passed a late fitness test.

The tall and correct Jaffer shared a 136-run stand for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid (50) after Dinesh Karthik fell early.

Jaffer, playing in his 24th Test, then put on 175 for the third wicket with state teammate Sachin Tendulkar, who reached 1 000 runs against Pakistan during his breezy 82.

Left-armer Tanvir struck with his first delivery when he had a tentative Karthik edge the ball to Younis Khan at second slip for one.

But Pakistan, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, had to wait until an hour after lunch for their next wicket.

In-form Jaffer reached his century off 150 balls with a fine cover drive off Danish Kaneria after Dravid was unluckily given caught behind to the leg-spinner in his second spell.

Jaffer, who faced 255 balls, was particularly severe on the erratic Tanvir, playing in his second Test, who he hit for four boundaries in a single over to reach his 50. He lashed the left-armer for 18 boundaries.

Jaffer drove fluently on either side of the wicket and raced towards a double century when fading light stopped play. Saurav Ganguly was unbeaten on 17. — Reuters

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