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Friday, Jun 23rd

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Pujara century rescues India on Opening Day of Mumbai Test

cheteshwar_pujara1India's new no.3, Cheteshwar Pujara, appears to have taken off from where his predecessor Rahul Dravid left off, proving himself to be not just the new crisis man for Indian cricket, but a run machine as well. Pujara, who scored in excess of 240 runs unbeaten in the first test at Ahmedabad, followed up with a match saving 114 on the opening day of the second test in Mumbai. The Rajkot lad walked in to bat on just the third ball of the morning, and survived the day keeping the England spinners at bay, rescuing India from a perilous 169-6. Pujara shared in three half-century partnerships with Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin, with the last of these worth 97 with Ashwin getting 60 of those runs. Pujara and Ashwin saw India through to the close of play at 266-6 after Monty Panesar had dominated the first two sessions, taking 4 of the 6 wickets that fell.

The second test of the four match series between former world no.1 sides India and England in Mumbai started off on a happy note for the hosts as the Indian captain MS Dhoni won his second toss of the series and chose to bat on a wicket that looked like one waiting to turn straight away. Dhoni also sprung a surprise for one and all as he picked a third specialist spinner in Harbhajan Singh in place of the unfit Umesh Yadav for this game, hoping to exploit the conditions. England on the other hand had to make two changes from the previous game in Ahmedabad. Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow came in for Ian Bell, who had leave for England for personal reasons and the visitors also predictably drafted a second spinner in Monty Panesar in place of the ineffective Tim Bresnan.

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Kirsten backs Proteas preparation, gives Australian batsmen credit

The Proteas' performance on the opening day of the second Test against Australia had little to do with preparation but rather execution, coach Gary Kirsten said. The bowlers were undone by excellent batting led by Michael Clarke's double hundred, which has given the hosts a definitive advantage early on.

"It was a tough day," Kirsten said. "We got something going at three for 55 and we had the chance to do something. I thought we went through periods where we bowled quite nicely and when we didn't bowl nicely we got a beating.

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Sammy praises Samuels for leading strong Windies reply

Darren Sammy hailed the batting of Marlon Samuels and said he has become an integral part of the West Indies team since his return to the international game last year. The Windies captain spoke after Samuels stroked a typically silky hundred and equally composed batting from Darren Bravo led a strong reply for the visitors against Bangladesh in the second Test on Thursday here.

Samuels was undefeated on 109 – his fifth Test hundred – and left-hander Bravo was unbeaten on 85 – eyeing his fourth Test hundred – as West Indies reached 241 for two, replying to Bangladesh's first innings total of 387 at the close on the second day at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.

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Samuels, Darren Bravo lead Windies strong reply on day 2

A reassuring 198 run unbeaten stand between Marlon Samuels(109*) and Darren Bravo(85*) on day 2 of the second and final test between West Indies and Bangladesh set up a fitting reply for the Windies in response to a sizeable 387 made by hosts Bangladesh in their first innings at Khulna on Thursday. At stumps on the second day, Windies were well poised on 241/2, just 146 runs behind Bangladesh. The chief architect of the solid batting display was the languid right hander Marlon Samuels with a fine century and he was ably supported by the stylish Trinidadian Darren Bravo, who is also just 15 runs short of his 4th test hundred going into day 3.

Bangladesh resumed day 2 on a high at 365/8 after Mahmudullah Riyad and debutant Abul Hasan put on an unbelievable 172 runs unbeaten for the 9th wicket at the stumps on day 1. The pair added another 12 runs on the second morning before Mahmudullah was dismissed caught and bowled by the West Indies skipper Darren Sammy for a well made 76. Bangladesh lost their only remaining wicket in quick succession as last night’s debutant centurion Abul Hasan was dismissed, fending Fidel Edwards to the slips for 113. As a result, Bangladesh ended on a commendable 387 all out, giving their fans something to cheer about.

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Kallis will be able to bat in Adelaide Test, Philander to return for Perth Test

Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis both went for MRI scans after picking up injuries on day one of the second Test against Australia in Adelaide. Philander was withdrawn from the playing XI after waking up with a stiff lower back, and Kallis left the field in the 17th over with a hamstring injury.

Proteas Team Manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee commented on the results: “ Vernon's scan reveals nothing more than a lower lumbar muscle strain as initially suspected. He will receive treatment and undergo rehabilitation during the course of the current Test match and we are hopeful he will be fit for the final Test in Perth.

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