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India holds out for draw vs. Australia in 1st test

India holds out for draw vs. Australia in 1st test

Sachin Tendulkar fell 14 runs short of equaling the test run-scoring world record Monday but played a key role in helping India draw the first cricket test against Australia.
India needed a ground-high fourth-innings score of 299 on the final day for an unlikely victory and had 177 for 4 when bad light ended the match 10 overs early.
The crowd had grown throughout the first two sessions in the hope of seeing Tendulkar overtake West Indian Brian Lara's record of 11,953 test runs. But after falling for 49 in the last session, Tendulkar will have to wait for the second test in Mohali starting Friday to try again to achieve the milestone.
With the light deteriorating after tea, the umpires conferred a couple of times about the conditions and the disruption affected Tendulkar, who drove rookie spinner Cameron White to Michael Clarke at cover. The catch gave White his first wicket in tests.
Tendulkar departed after facing 126 balls and the match was delayed for 39 minutes 5.4 overs later due to bad light.
There was another 22-minute delay before play finally finished with V.V.S Laxman on 42 not out _ he had shared a crucial 61-run partnership with Tendulkar _ and Sourav Ganguly unbeaten on 26.
"We've played good cricket, we've dominated pretty much since the first three or four overs," captain Ricky Ponting said. "Unfortunately we didn't win."
Tendulkar, who walked out requiring 64 to become test cricket's leading scorer, hit 10 runs off Mitchell Johnson in the penultimate over before lunch, but was much more cautious for the remainder of his innings. He added only 31 in the second session and was in control until mis-timing White.
Australia ended Tendulkar's useful 53-run stand with Gautam Gambhir when Johnson bowled the Indian opener with a slow off-cutter that sneaked between bat and pad. India was 77-3 and the dismissal gave the tourists hope of going 1-0 up in the four-match series.
Tendulkar preferred to work the ball or defend and until his dismissal had only one moment of trouble when, on 31, he drove at Cameron White and edged for four over the head of Matthew Hayden at first slip.
India's run-rate slowed when Laxman arrived after Gambhir's dismissal and the hosts' push to reach the safety of stumps was helped by the gloomy conditions.
"I was not surprised with how they played," Ponting said. "The Indian team plays a lot of drawn games. At the end of the day we weren't quite good enough to win."
Australia had resumed the fifth day at 193-5 and added 35 runs in five overs before skipper Ricky Ponting declared the second innings at 228-6.
The Australians started aggressively, removing dangerous opener Virender Sehwag for 6 in the sixth over and Rahul Dravid 20 balls later for 5.
"If they went for (the) target or not, it all depended on how Sehwag went," Ponting said. "We got Sehwag early, which was great for us."
India captain Anil Kumble said it was up to Australia to make the running on the final day.
"Once Ponting declared, if we had a good start we would have gone after the bowling," Kumble said. "They had to make a game of it."
Kumble was pleased with the manner in which his team responded after struggling at 232-7 in the first innings.
"The way things were after losing the toss, and as the pitch cracked up, we fought back really well," he said.
Ponting dived almost at full length to intercept Dravid's push to mid-wicket off Brett Lee and leave India in early trouble at 2-24.
Sehwag had a reprieve when Brad Haddin dropped his edge from Lee. But Hayden made up for the error in the next over when he accepted a sharp catch low to the ground at first slip when Sehwag tried to turn Clark's delivery to the leg-side.
Australia opened the day aiming for quick runs and Haddin finished on 35 not out while White was unbeaten on 18.
Shane Watson drove paceman Ishant Sharma's first delivery for a straight boundary, but was bowled next ball for 41 trying to hit to the leg-side.
Sharma returned figures of 3-40 while offspinner Harbhajan Singh had 2-76.
India captain and legspinner Anil Kumble, who has an injured right shoulder, hurt his left thumb while dropping a caught-and-bowled chance off Haddin on the first ball of the day.
Kumble finished the over after a short delay for treatment, but was unable to take a wicket in the match for only the third time in his 131-test career.


Updated : 2021-10-23 20:17 GMT+08:00