M A I N   N E W S

Congrats Sehwag, you’ve done it
Becomes first Indian to hit triple century in Test cricket
M R Mishra

V.V.S. Laxman congratulates team-mate Virender Sehwag for breaking his record of being the highest Indian run scorer in a Test innings
V.V.S. Laxman (
right) congratulates teammate Virender Sehwag for breaking his record of being the highest Indian run scorer in a Test innings on the second day of the first Test in Multan on Monday. 

Multan, March 29
Virender Sehwag created history by becoming the first Indian to crack a triple century and Sachin Tendulkar struck an unbeaten century as India posted their third highest Test score ever to take a firm grip on the opening Test against arch-rivals Pakistan here today.

Sehwag (309) and Tendulkar (194 not out) took centrestage on the second day as they re-wrote the record books with several individual and partnership milestones during a marathon 336-run third wicket association before the visitors declared the innings at an imposing 675 for five on yet another eventful day at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Faced with an uphill task, Pakistan were 42 for no loss at stumps with Taufiq Umar batting on 20 and Imran Farhat on 17.

The flamboyant Sehwag continued from where he had left on the opening day to record the first triple century in India Test history, eclipsing the previous highest individual score of 281 which stood in the name of his teammate VVS Laxman established against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001.

It was yet another frustrating day for the hosts as Sehwag and Tendulkar launched a ruthless assault on the demoralised bowlers to help India record the highest-ever total against Pakistan, erasing the previous record of 539 for nine declared at Chennai in 1960-61.
Virender Sehwag hits a boundary off Shoaib Akhtar
Virender Sehwag
hits a boundary off Shoaib Akhtar (not in picture) on the second day of the first Test against Pakistan in Multan on Monday. — AFP photo

The marathon 336-run third wicket partnership was the highest-ever by an Indian pair, erasing the record of 316 which stood in the name of Gundappa Vishwanath and Yashpal Sharma at Chennai in 1991-92.

It also turned out to be the highest-ever partnership against Pakistan eclipsing the previous record of Sunil Gavaskar and K Srikkanth who had put on 200 runs in the Chennai Test in 1991-92.

The Indian declaration came immediately after Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for a 66-ball 59, leaving star batsman Tendulkar just six runs short of what could have been his fourth double century. His sparkling knock came off 348 balls and was laced with 21 boundaries.

Tendulkar gave a fine display of controlled strokeplay to slam his 33rd Test century and take himself to the second position in the all-time list of century makers with Sunil Gavaskar being the only one ahead of him with 34 centuries.

Resuming at the overnight score of 356 for two, the two overnight batsmen played out the first hour cautiously as the Pakistani pace bowlers put in a more disciplined performance in the early stages of the game today but could not succeed in breaking the partnership.

The two batsmen played their shots without taking too many risks in the second hour to put on 111 runs during the pre-lunch session without being separated, much to the dismay of the paltry crowd.

Tendulkar completed his century just at the stroke of lunch by taking three runs off Abdul Razzak while Sehwag also broke Laxman’s record just before the break after being dropped by Taufiq Umar in the first slip when on 274.

Both the batsmen launched the onslaught after the break collecting the runs with consummate ease on a track which gave almost no assistance to the bowlers.

Sehwag notched up his triple century in style by lifting off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq for a huge six to receive a standing ovation from the crowd who had very little to cheer about.

The Delhi batsman appeared to be in a more aggressive frame of mind after the lunch break and played some glorious shots before paceman Mohammad Sami providing the vital breakthrough by getting rid of the dangerous opener, bringing an end to the epic partnership.

Sehwag edged an outgoing delivery from Sami to slips where Taufiq Umar made no mistake this time, bringing an end to his magnificent 375-ball knock which contained 39 boundaries and six sixes.

VVS Laxman, who joined the action after Sehwag’s dismissal, and Tendulkar continued the good work as they kept the scoreboard ticking without taking any risks at all.

The fourth wicket pair added 56 runs before Laxman, who survived a dropped catch by Imran Farhat when on 26, was run out with Yousuf Youhana doing a smart piece of fielding from the mid-wicket region.

Laxman, who looked quite comfortable in the middle, could not regain the safety of his crease as Youhana threw the ball to wicketkeeper Moin Khan who whipped off the bails in a flash.

It was then the turn of Yuvraj Singh, playing only in his second Test, to join the run feast and he unleashed a flurry of shots on both sides of the wicket in a bid to rattle up as many runs as possible before the declaration.

Yuvraj was particularly severe on Mushtaq as he spanked him for two consecutive boundaries and produced a classy sweep to the mid wicket fence in his next over. Mushtaq, coming back into the Test team after a long gap, conceded as many as 204 runs in his 43 overs and never really seemed to trouble the Indians who are good players of spin bowling.

The Pakistani openers Taufiq Umar and Imran Farhat, needing to bat for an hour, ensured that there were no setbacks for the home team as the visitors put an attacking field of four slips and a gully in a bid to make early inroads.

India (1st Innings)

Chopra c Farhat b Saqlain 42

Sehwag c Umar b Sami 309

Dravid c Hameed b Sami 6

Tendulkar not out 194

Laxman run out 29

Yuvraj Singh c and b Farhat 59

Extras (lb-20, b-8, nb-7, w-1) 36

Total (for 5 wkts in 161.1 overs) 675

Fall of wickets: 1-163, 2-176 3-509 4-565, 5-675.

Bowling: Shoaib Akhtar 32-4-119-0, Sami 34-4-110-2, Shabbir 31-6-122-0, Saqlain 43-4-204-1, Razzaq 15-3-61-0, Farhat 6.5-0-31-1.

Pakistan (Ist innings)

Imran Farhat not out 17

Taufeeq Umar not out 20

Extras: (lb-3 nb-2) 5

Total: (for no loss, 16 overs) 42

Bowling: Zaheer 4-2-5-0 (nb-1), Pathan 5-1-18-0, Kumble 4-1-9-0, Balaji 2-0-2-0, Sehwag 1-0-5-0. — PTI


Nation is proud of Sehwag: PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today congratulated Virender Sehwag on scoring a record breaking triple century in the first cricket Test against Pakistan at Multan.

In a message issued here, Vajpayee said “the nation is proud of Virender Sehwag’s achievement. The entire country and indeed cricket lovers all over the world look forward to such wholesome entertainment from the blade of Sehwag in the future too.”

Sehwag became the first Indian ever to hit up a triple century in the history of Indian Test cricket with a strokeful 309.

The record-breaking knock saw Sehwag become the highest run getter for India, the 17th batsman in the world to score a triple ton and the third to achieve the feat in Pakistan. — PTI


India’s top scorers



Second day’s highlights

Multan, March 29
The following are the match highlights of the second day’s play in the first Test between India and Pakistan here today:

— Sehwag (309 off 375 balls) became the first Indian to record a triple century, eclipsing the previous highest individual score held by V V S Laxman’s 281 off 452 balls vs Australia at Calcutta in March 2001.

— Sehwag became the first batsman in Test annals to complete the triple century by hitting a six.

— Sehwag is now the only player to complete a century as well as triple century with a six in the same innings.

— Sehwag reached his triple century off 364 balls — the second fastest triple century in terms of balls faced. Australia’s Matthew Hayden, during his world record innings of 380 off 438 balls (622 minutes) vs Zimbabwe at Perth in October 2004, had completed his triple century off 362 balls.

— Sehwag’s outstanding innings of 309 is the highest individual innings for India overseas, bettering Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 241 against Australia at Sydney in 2003-04.

— Sehwag’s innings is now the second best against Pakistan on Pakistan soil, next to Mark Taylor’s unbeaten 334 for Australia at Peshawar in 1998-99.

— Sehwag’s innings is the third highest on Pakistan soil after Mark Taylor’s 334 not out vs. Pakistan at Peshawar in 1998-99 and 329 by Inzamam-ul-Haq vs. New Zealand at Lahore in 2001-02.

— Sehwag, during his innings hit 39 fours and 6 sixes, setting another Indian record for most runs through boundaries. His 192 runs in boundaries surpassed V.V.S. Laxman’s record of 176 runs (44 fours) in boundaries during 281 vs. Australia at Calcutta in 2000-01.

— Sehwag and Tendulkar, with their 336-run stand, set a new partnership record against Pakistan for any wicket, outstripping the 200 (fifth wicket) between S.M. Patil and R.J. Shastri at Faisalabad in 1984-85 and 200 (first wicket) between S.M. Gavaskar and K. Srikkanth at Chennai in 1986-87.

— India’s previous best third wicket partnership vs. Pakistan was 190 by Yashpal Sharma and Mohinder Amarnath at Lahore in 1982-83. Sehwag and Tendulkar, with their 336-run stand, established a record for India for the third wicket in Test cricket, surpassing the 316 by Gundappa Viswanath and Yashpal Sharma vs. England at Madras in 1981-82.

— Sehwag-Tendulkar partnership is now the best ever against Pakistan in Test Cricket, bettering the previous best of 267 between G.P. Thorpe and M.P. Vaughan for England at Manchester in 2001.

— Sachin Tendulkar (194 not out off 348 balls) registered his highest score against Pakistan, surpassing his 136 at Madras in 1998-99. Sachin’s unbeaten 194 at Multan is his 33rd century and his 18th on foreign soil, equalling Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 18 centuries overseas.

— Yuvraj (59 off 66 balls) posted his maiden fifty in Test Cricket.

— India (675/5) recorded their highest innings total against Pakistan, surpassing their 539 for 9 at Madras in 1960-61. India’s previous highest on Pakistan soil was 509 at Lahore in 1989-90.

— India’s 675 for 5 wickets declared is their third highest total in Test cricket — the top two being 705 for 7 vs. Australia at Sydney in 2003-04 and 676 for 7 vs. Sri Lanka at Kanpur in 1986-87.

— India’s total is the second highest against Pakistan in Test cricket. The highest is 790 for 3 by West Indies at Kingston in 1957-58.

— The aforesaid total is the highest by any visiting team in Pakistan, surpassing the previous highest of 617 by Australia at Faisalabad in 1979-80.

— Saqlain Mushtaq (43-4-204-1) is the first Pakistani bowler to concede 200 runs in an innings in Pakistan.

— Saqlain became the first bowler from Pakistan to concede over 200 runs in an innings twice. He had conceded 237 runs and claimed three wickets vs. South Africa at Cape Town in 2003-04. — UNI

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