Pujara four short of double century

Ahmedabad, Nov 16 (IANS) Cheteshwar Pujara was four runs short of his maiden double−ton as India piled up 502 for six at tea on the second day of the first cricket Test against England at the Motera here Friday.

Pujara (196) had the support of Ravichandran Ashwin (21) at the end of the post−lunch session in which India scored 92 runs in 31 overs. The batsmen dismissed in the afternoon were Yuvraj Singh (74) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5).

Graeme Swann's 14th five−wicket haul in Tests was the lone silver lining for the English as the rest of the bowlers continued to struggle on a slow surface.

Yuvraj's wicket early in the session was a gift for the visitors. The southpaw looked in fine touch before he hit an innocuous full−toss off Samit Patel straight to long−on. Pujara carried on collecting runs with ease, adding 63 to his score at lunch.

Dhoni, who took 37 balls for his five, was Swann's fifth victim. The Indian skipper was bowled while trying to sweep an incoming ball.

Earlier, Yuvraj made an impressive return to Test cricket and, along with Pujara, dominated the English attack in the morning session. India started the day at 323 for four and solid batting by the duo took them to 410 for four at lunch.

They put on a 127−run stand for the fifth wicket as England went wicketless in the morning session.

The southpaw, playing his first Test match after battling rare germ cell cancer, was in great touch. He hit six fours and two sixes in his innings with Pujara scoring 35 runs of the 83 notched up in the first session of play Friday.

The English bowlers again bowled without any luck. The pacers had very little effect on the proceedings on a pitch that is degrading every moment.


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