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Laxman and Dravid fight back for India in second Test


CALCUTTA, March 14 (AFP) - Venkatsai Laxman and Rahul Dravid flayed Australia's bowling on the fourth morning to lead India's fightback in the second cricket Test here on Wednesday.

The pair smashed 122 runs in the two-hour morning session as India moved from their overnight score of 254-4 to 376 without further loss in their second innings by lunch on the fourth day.

The hosts, forced to follow on 274 runs behind, lead Australia by 102 runs with six wickets in hand on a wearing Eden Gardens wicket.

Laxman, 109 overnight, was unbeaten at the break on a career-best 171 while Dravid struck form for the first time in the series with 50 not out.

Laxman overtook his previous best of 167, also against Australia at Sydney last year, with an on-drive off Shane Warne which fetched him his 31st boundary.

The pair have so far added 144 for the fifth wicket after coming together at 232-4 on Tuesday evening with India still needing 42 to make Australia bat again.

The Indians made light of the second new ball to score 51 runs from 15 overs in the first hour.

Laxman, promoted to the number three slot after a top score of 59 in the first innings, continued his stirring form with a flurry of fours all around the wicket.

Dravid, bowled by Warne in the first innings, hit back with three consecutive boundaries off the leg-spinner.

The Australian bowlers wilted under the assault with Warne going for 120 runs from 27 overs





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