Cricinfo: West Indies v India 2006
CricinfoWest Indies v India v 2006



1st Test: Day 3 - West Indies v India at Antigua, 2-6 June 2006 [ Scorecard ]
Workmanlike Jaffer defies Windies

With India beginning their second innings 130 runs behind West Indies, they needed a solid opening stand to claw their way back into the match. Eight Indian batsmen had entered double figures in the first innings but none converted it into a score of more than fifty. Wasim Jaffer, wasn.t one of those eight, and when he got a start in the second innings, he made it count.

Jaffer made a tentative start, got beaten a couple of times and shouldered arms whenever he could during the short passage of play before lunch. He started with a couple of streaky fours through the slip cordon off Ian Bradshaw right after the break and was often beaten as he pushed half-forward on the front foot. His first authoritative four was a square drive off Bradshaw. He stood tall, got on top of the bounce and threaded the gap at point. Jaffer tucked anything drifting on to his pads through midwicket and cashed in on width whenever available. However, he never really dominated the bowlers and often played and missed, got rapped on the pads and played the odd unconvincing shot. The bowlers always felt they had a chance with him but never succeeded.

Jaffer and Virender Sehwag knocked off a chuck of India.s deficit with a 72-run opening stand and after Sehwag fell, Jaffer quietly accumulated his runs. When he caressed a classic off-drive to the long-off fence, it almost came as a surprise that he had reached fifty. It took only 82 balls, but it was largely un-noticed. He and Laxman added 75 for the second wicket off and Laxman, though he scored just 31 of them, looked in better touch than Jaffer. But it was Jaffer who survived. He played Dave Mohammed.s left- arm spin with ease, flicking and driving to keep the scoreboard moving at a healthy clip.

Once Rahul Dravid joined him after Laxman fell, Jaffer downed the shutters and concentrated on seeing the day through. He took 54 balls to move from 80 to 100 but reached his second century with a sublime square-drive to the point fence. It was neither the prettiest nor the most fluent innings but, at the end of the day, Jaffer was unbeaten on 113 and India wiped out a deficit of 130 and extended their lead to 85.

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