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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Dravid puts India in charge
Third Test, Rawalpindi, day three (close):
Pakistan 224 & 49-2 v India 600

Rahul Dravid
200 not out v Zimbabwe,
Delhi 2000
217 v England,
The Oval 2002
222 v New Zealand,
Ahmedabad 2003
233 v Australia,
Adelaide 2003
270 v Pakistan,
Rawalpindi 2004
Rahul Dravid continued his prolific form with the highest score of his career to put India in total control of the deciding Rawalpindi Test.

Dravid made 270 - his fifth double century - in a total of 600 as India built a first-innings lead of 376.

The vice-captain faced 495 balls, hitting a six and 34 fours as he passed his previous Test best of 233.

Pakistan then plummeted to 49-2 at stumps with the loss of openers Taufeeq Umar and Imran Farhat.

Skipper Sourav Ganguly contributed 77 with India looking to win the match and clinch a 2-1 series victory.

Dravid's innings was not flawless, he was dropped on 71 and 230 and appeared fortunate to survive a loud appeal for a bat-pad catch on 213, but it was still an innings right out of the top drawer.

Pakistan were a depleted unit at the start of the third day's play with Shoaib Akhtar (back) and Asim Kamal (elbow) remaining in the dressing room.

"Kamal's X-ray has revealed no fracture, but he's in acute pain and the hand is swollen," team management said.

Shoaib's absence placed extra responsibility on the shoulders of Mohammad Sami, who bowled virtually throughout the morning session.

India, 342-4 overnight, were watchful at the start of play adding only 14 in the first nine overs, but Dravid and Ganguly extended their stand to 131 before Pakistan finally achieved a breakthrough.

It came in unexpected circumstances as Ganguly failed to ground his bat as he tried to avoid an incoming throw by subsistute Imran Nazir and was run out by the fielders's direct hit at the bowler's end.

Imran Nazir
Imran Nazir fails to hold a chance at deep mid-wicket

Dravid continued serenely past 150 as Yuvraj Singh settled into the supporting role vacated by his captain as India lunched on 414-5.

Yuvraj found the boundary twice in one over from Danish Kaneria but the leg-spinner continued to bound in enthusiastically despite sending down 62 overs in the innings.

The score mounted to 490 before Sami won an lbw decision against Yuvraj, who was on 47, although the ball appeared to have pitched outside leg stump.

His dismissal came shortly after Dravid had reached his fifth double century in Tests off 424 balls and thereafter he looked to raise the tempo.

Irfan Pathan (15) and Anil Kumble (nine) both fell to Kaneria as Dravid progressed past the previous highest score on the ground - 237 by former Pakistan skipper Salim Malik against Australia in 1994.

He lofted a ball from Imran Farhat superbly over cover for six before attempting to reverse sweep the same bowler and under-edging into his stumps.

The innings came to an end when Lakshmipathy Balaji was caught in the deep as he attempted to repeat his six off the previous delivery from Farhat.

Pakistan's first wicket started in assured fashion, moving to 30 inside 10 overs before both openers fell in the space of five deliveries.

Farhat, fishing outsidfe his off-stump, was cleanly caught in first slip by Virender Sehwag for three off Balaji before Pathan gained a somewhat generous lbw verdict to remove Taufeeq for 13.

Pakistan battened down the hatches with the insertion of nightwatchman Kamran Akmal (10 not out), who saw the hosts to the close with Yasir Hameed, unbeaten on eight.

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Sami, Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria, Fazl-e-Akbar.

India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra.

Umpires: David Shepherd (ENG), Rudi Koertzen (RSA)


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