Stylish batsman VVS Laxman and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed unbeaten hundreds to put India in firm control of the second and final Test against South Africa yesterday.
Laxman hit 143 and Dhoni made 132 as India piled up a record 643-6 before declaring their first innings shortly before stumps on the third day at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The tourists, trailing by 347 runs, were six for no loss in their second knock when play was called off due to bad light after just five deliveries from Zaheer Khan.
India's powerful batting boosted their chances of squaring the series after they lost the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and six runs.
A drawn series will also enable Dhoni's men to retain their number one position in the official Test rankings.
India's total was their highest against South Africa, surpassing the 627 during the Chennai Test in 2008.
Laxman and Dhoni put on 259 for the unbroken seventh wicket as India lost just one wicket, of nightwatchman Amit Mishra (28), during the day.
Laxman, who missed the Nagpur Test due to a finger injury, played some trademark pulls and drives for his 15th Test century and the fourth at the Eden Gardens.
The South Africans, who made 296 in their first knock, squandered a few chances in the field.
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