Sehwag becomes the first Indian to hit triple century

India 675-5 dec Pakistan 42-0
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The Independent Online

Virender Sehwag became the first Indian to score 300 runs in an innings as India posted a record 675 for 5 against Pakistan in the opening Test here yesterday. His timing was impeccable with India playing their first Test on Pakistani soil in more than 14 years.

The 25-year-old from Delhi hit 39 fours and six sixes in his 309, the 18th triple century in Test history, facing 375 balls and batting for 531 minutes.

He reached the 300 landmark by lofting Pakistan's off-spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq, over mid-wicket for a six and celebrated by raising his arms and hugging his batting partner, Sachin Tendulkar, who scored an unbeaten 194 of his own. India's previous individual best score was the 281 hit by VVS Laxman against Australia in Calcutta in 2001.

Tendulkar was stranded six short of a double-hundred when the stand-in captain, Rahul Dravid, declared when Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for 59. The total was India's highest against Pakistan, beating their 539 for 9 at Madras in 1961, and it was their third-highest overall. Pakistan, in reply, were 42 for no wicket at the close of the second day's play.

Sehwag, on 228 overnight, started the day by on-driving Mohammad Sami to the mid-wicket fence for four. He then cut the pace bowler for another boundary later in the same over. He survived a half-chance on 274 when Taufeeq Umar at first slip got his fingertips to an edgy steer off Shabbir Ahmed but was unable to hold on. He was lucky again later in the same over when Shabbir induced another edge but the Pakistan wicketkeeper, Moin Khan, could not take the chance - dropping a difficult catch diving to his right.

Tendulkar put on 336 for the third wicket with Sehwag. It was India's highest partnership against Pakistan. The previous record of 200 was jointly held by Sunil Gavaskar and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, for the first wicket at Madras in 1986-87, and by Ravi Shastri and Sandeep Patil, for the fifth at Faisalabad in 1984-85.

Sehwag finally fell, edging Sami to Taufeeq in the slips. Laxman was run out for 29 before Yuvraj, playing instead of the injured Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly, struck his maiden Test half-century in only his second match.

HIGHEST TEST INNINGS

380 M Hayden (Aus) v Zim, 2003
375 B Lara (W Indies) v Eng, 1994
365* G Sobers (W Indies) v Pak, 1958
364 L Hutton (Eng) v Aus, 1938
340 S Jayasuriya (S Lanka) v India, 1997
337 H Mohammad (Pak) v WI, 1958
336* W Hammond (Eng) v NZ, 1933
334* M Taylor (Aus) v Pak, 1998
334 D Bradman (Aus) v Eng, 1930
333 G Gooch (Eng) v India, 1990
329 Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) v NZ, 2002
325 A Sandham (Eng) v WI, 1930
311 B Simpson (Aus) v Eng, 1964
310* J Edrich (Eng) v NZ, 1965
309 V Sehwag (India) v Pak, 2004
307 B Cowper (Aus) v Eng, 1966
304 D Bradman (Aus) v Eng, 1934
302 L Rowe (W Indies) v Eng, 1974

*denotes not out

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