Saturday, October 2, 2010

Australia slightly ahead after Paine's blow

India rode on Virender Sehwag's record-equalling half-century to reach 110-2 in their first innings in reply to Australia's 428 in the opening Test on Saturday. The Indian opener scored a blazing 59 off 54 balls with 10 fours in the final session after Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine (92) had missed out on a maiden Test hundred on the second day.

Sehwag equalled the record of scoring a 50 or more in 11 consecutive Tests. West Indies' Viv Richards and Indian Gautam Gambhir are the other batsmen to have achieved the feat.
With the pitch offering no help to bowlers, Australia struggled to contain runs as Sehwag went for his shots from the beginning and raced to his half-century off 38 balls.
Australia introduced spin after 12 overs, but Nathan Hauritz was greeted with two fours by Sehwag, who was eventually caught by Michael Clarke in the covers off a leading edge to become paceman Mitchell Johnson's second victim.
Wicketkeeper Paine, playing only his third Test, was earlier instrumental in boosting Australia with a solid knock that came off 196 balls with the help of 12 boundaries.

Paine, who added 53 for the sixth wicket with opener Shane Watson (126), put on 82 for the seventh with Johnson and 54 for the ninth with Hilfenhaus to shatter India's hopes of restricting the tourists to a modest total.

India's bowlers struggled against determined Australian batting on an easy-paced pitch, taking just one wicket in the first session and two in the second.
Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan was the most impressive bowler with 5-94, his 10th haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh finished with 3-114.

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