Sat, Jan 26, 2008 - Page 20 News List

India's tail wags to post big first innings score

AFP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Captain Anil Kumble fell short of a second Test century but India's tail wagged strongly to help the tourists post a big score in the fourth Test against Australia yesterday.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, India were dismissed for an imposing 526 just after tea on the second day, Sachin Tendulkar top-scoring with a majestic 153.

In reply, Australia were 62 without loss at stumps, with Matthew Hayden on 36 and Phil Jaques on 21.

The Aussies had only one scare, when Jaques was almost run out on 12 by an alert Dinesh Karthik, the substitute fielder missing with a backhand flick at the stumps that would have had the opener well out had it hit.

In a blow for the Indians, opening bowler R.P. Singh left the field late in the day with what appeared to be a slight hamstring strain.

Harbhajan Singh, who made 63 in a century partnership for the eighth wicket with Kumble, conceded it was a good batting wicket, but was confident they could level the series.

"I think it's a very good wicket to bat on but we've got the runs on the board now so we can play around with our field and put them under pressure and try to get the wickets," he said.

Kumble was the last man out in India's highest total at the Adelaide Oval, caught behind by Adam Gilchrist for 87 off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson, having added 58 for the last wicket with number 11 Ishant Sharma.

The catch was Gilchrist's fourth for the innings and earned him the world record for wicketkeeping dismissals, his tally of 414 edging him one ahead of South Africa's Mark Boucher.

In rallying from 359 for seven, the tourists were aided by a host of dropped catches in the field from the normally clinical Australians.

India's hopes of posting more than 400 seemed in jeopardy when Tendulkar was the seventh man out, but Kumble and Harbhajan then frustrated the Australians by putting on 107.

Tendulkar holed out to Brad Hogg on the square leg boundary from the bowling of Brett Lee to end a memorable innings.

It was the first ball after Tendulkar received extended treatment to his knee, having been struck a painful blow when he miscued an attempted pull off the previous delivery from the Australian paceman.

Tendulkar went into the match with just 122 runs at 20.33 in his three previous visits to the Adelaide Oval, but made sure his last Test at the home ground of his idol Donald Bradman would be a memorable one with his 39th century.

He looked in magnificent touch on the second day, playing some glorious shots in the first hour of play before being struck by Lee the ball after reaching 150.

Tendulkar, who has 480 runs at 80 in the series, faced 205 balls and hit 13 fours and three sixes, earning a pat on the back from the successful bowler and a standing ovation as he left the field.

Lee was again the most impressive of the Australian bowlers with 3-101, while Johnson finished with 4-126.

India are 2-1 down in the four-match Test series and cannot regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

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