Cricket: Azharuddin leads Indian domination

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The Independent Online
Australia 233 and 38-1 India 633-5 dec

A SUPERB unbeaten 163 from the Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin put his side in a commanding position against Australia on the third day of the second Test at Eden Gardens in Calcutta yesterday.

With a first-innings lead of 400, they confirmed their superiority when Javagal Srinath dismissed Michael Slater for five. Australia ended the day on 38 for 1.

Already one down in the three-Test series, they face an uphill task to save the match, let alone the series.

India declared on 633 for 5, shortly after tea, following a powerful display from their top-order batsmen, with Azharuddin leading the way. It was India's biggest total at Calcutta, surpassing the 565 against the West Indies in 1987-88.

India's batsmen took apart the Australian attack, with Azharuddin racing to his 20th Test century, his fifth hundred in six Tests at Eden Gardens.

Azharuddin, who gave one chance on 57, hit 18 fours and three sixes, was the only Indian batsman to pass 100 runs despite five others reaching at least 50.

He added 158 runs for the fifth wicket with Saurav Ganguly, who scored 65. Ganguly, who hit six fours and one six, was caught at silly point by Darren Lehmann, on as a substitute, off Gavin Robertson.

It was a hard day for the Australian bowlers who toiled without much success. Shane Warne ended with figures of 0 for 147 in his 42 overs while the off-spinner Robertson conceded 163 off his 33 overs for two wickets.

Third day; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 233 (S R Waugh 80, R T Ponting 60).

INDIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 369 for 3)

R Dravid c and b Blewett 86

*M Azharuddin not out 163

S C Ganguly c sub b Robertson 65

N R Mongia not out 30

Extras (b2, lb7, nb9) 18

Total (for 5 dec, 159 overs) 633

Fall (cont): 4-400, 5-558.

Did not bat: A Kumble, J Srinath, R K Chauhan, Venkatapathy Raju

Bowling: Kasprowicz 34-6-122-1; Wilson 12-2-50-0; Blewett 20-3-65-1; Warne 42-4-147-0; Robertson 33-2-163-2 M E Waugh 18-1-77-1.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

*M A Taylor not out 11

M J Slater b Srinath 5

G S Blewett not out 19

Extras (lb1, nb2) 3

Total (for 1, 19 overs) 38

Fall: 1-7.

To bat: M E Waugh, S R Waugh, R T Ponting, I A Healy, S K Warne, G R Robertson, M S Kasprowicz, P Wilson.

Bowling: Srinath 6-3-11-1; Ganguly 4-0-9-0; Kumble 5-1-9-0; Chauhan 4- 2-8-0.

Umpires: K Parthasarathy (Ind) and B C Cooray (Sri Lanka).

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