Sun, Dec 14, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Australia gains edge over India

AP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIAAND KANDY, SRI LANKA

Indian batsman Rahul Dravid, right, cuts the ball away as Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist looks on during the second day of the second Test Match being played in Adelaide, Saturday. Australia scored 556 in their first innings .

PHOTO: AFP

Australia took control of the second cricket test Saturday after India stumbled trying to chase the home side's huge first-innings total at the Adelaide Oval.

After Ricky Ponting's career-best 242 lifted Australia to 556 all out, swing bowler Andy Bichel claimed 3-55 as the tourists slid to 180 for four at stumps on the second day.

Vice captain Rahul Dravid, unbeaten on 43 runs, and Venkatsai Laxman, 55 not out, batted for nearly two hours and shared 95 undefeated runs to deny Australia a breakthrough.

Laxman, who scored 75 and 24 not out in the first test in Brisbane, has so far hit six fours in his 19th half century in his 48th test.

"We hung in there really strongly and bowled to our plan," said Ponting.

Ponting said Australia will not enforce the follow-on and will ensure it will not bat last on a wicket that is expected to deteriorate.

Legspinner Anil Kumble said he was pleased to take five wickets for the first time in Australia.

"I'll still be criticized for being expensive," said Kumble. "But it's a nice feeling.

"Our first task is to avoid the follow-on. The first session [tomorrow] is crucial for us, and if we can survive that I'm sure we can bat properly."

England versus Sri Lanka

Tillekeratne Dilshan celebrated his return to test cricket after almost three years by smashing a blazing century Saturday as Sri Lanka seized control of the second cricket test match against England.

Dilshan's 129-ball 100, his second century in 11 tests, helped Sri Lanka declare at 279 for seven after losing two early wickets on the fourth day.

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