India near Delhi victory

Hosts well placed chasing target of 203

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 25/11/07 3:14pm

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Ganguly: 48 not out

Ganguly: 48 not out

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India are on the brink of victory in the first Test against Pakistan after closing the fourth day in Delhi on 171-3 in pursuit of a target of 203.

Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid shared an 82-run stand for the second wicket after Shoaib Akhtar had Dinesh Karthik (1) caught behind with the sixth ball of the innings.

Jaffer struck 53 from 81 balls before being brilliantly caught low down by Salman Butt at square-leg off Shoaib's bowling.

And there was a hint of trouble for the hosts when Shoaib followed up by removing Rahul Dravid's (34) leg-stump to reduce India to 93-3.

But an unbroken 78-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly erased any doubts and left India requiring a further 32 runs when play resumes on Monday's final day.

Veteran left-hander Ganguly took an aggressive approach, hitting eight boundaries to reach 48 from 61 balls, while Tendulkar played a supporting role with a more sedate 32, in the process moving past former Australian skipper Allan Border into second on the all-time list of Test run scorers.

Tendulkar finished the day with 11,183 Test runs, just 770 behind the record held by retired West Indian Brian Lara.

Collapse

Earlier, Zaheer Khan and Ganguly each claimed two wickets as Pakistan added just 35 to their overnight position to be bowled out for 247 prior to lunch.

Left-armer Zaheer (2-45) removed Kamran Akmal (21) in his first over of the day and, six overs later, claimed his second victim when Sohail Tanvir (13) miscued an attempted pull.

And Ganguly (2-20) then dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq (45) and Mohammad Sami (5) with his medium pace as Pakistan slumped to 247-9.

The innings was ended when Pakistan's last man Danish Kaneria (0) was run out by a smart piece of work from wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who collected Tendulkar's throw with his back to the stumps and then removed the bails by throwing the ball between his legs.

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