India hit back in Delhi
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By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 23/11/07 2:04pm
Laxman: 30th Test fifty
VVS Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni led an Indian fightback as they staggered towards Pakistan's first innings total on the second day of the first Test in Delhi.
Misbah-ul-Haq's bizarre run out led to Pakistan's innings ending on 231 all out, with India skipper Anil Kumble finishing with figures of 4-38 in his first match as captain.
India suffered a huge wobble in their reply when they tumbled from 71-1 to 93-5, but half centuries from wicketkeeper Dhoni and Laxman helped them to finish the day just three runs behind Pakistan on 228-6.
Misbah had held the Pakistan innings together as they ended the opening day on 210-8 in Delhi, but he could add just 11 more runs before his fine knock ended in bizarre fashion.
After pushing a shot to point, Misbah looked to have made his ground but jumped to avoid Dinesh Karthik's throw and was run out in the process.
With Misbah out for 82, Pakistan closed on 231 all out, which did not look too challenging a score on the wicket.
Shoaib Akhtar grabbed the early breakthrough for Pakistan when he had Karthik caught behind for nine, but India recovered with Rahul Dravid returning to the side after missing out on the one-dayers.
Dravid and Wasim Jaffer helped India recover, and they looked comfortable, but 71-1 soon became 93-5 as the home side just crumbled.
Shoaib trapped Jaffer lbw for 32, and legend Sachin Tendulkar could only add one single before he was run out with a smart throw from Mohammad Yousuf enabling Kamran Akmal to whip off the bails with the batsman short, to the dismay of the crowd.
Debutant Sohail Tanvir then struck for Pakistan as he removed both Dravid (38) and Sourav Ganguly (8), both times beating their defence to rearrange their stumps.
One-day skipper Dhoni came out to join Laxman, and the two set about steadying the Indian ship as they put together a fine 115-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Dhoni made his seventh Test fifty before he was stumped by Akmal when he was decisively beaten by a turning Danish Kaneria delivery, with the Indian wicketkeeper trudging off after making 57.
Laxman also made it to his half-century, for the 30th time in Test matches, and he ended the day unbeaten on 57 when the umpires called a halt to proceedings due to the fading light in Delhi.
Laxman will resume alongside skipper Kumble on the third morning, looking to grab a decent first innings lead.