Cricket: Tendulkar's winning start

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Australia 182 and 234 India 361 and 58-3 India win by seven wickets

Sachin Tendulkar failed with the bat but won his debut Test as India's captain when Australia were comprehensively beaten by seven wickets on the fourth day of their one-off match in New Delhi yesterday.

India lost three top batsmen, including Tendulkar for a duck, in their short 56-run victory chase after bundling out Australia for 234 in their second innings.

The tourists avoided an innings defeat thanks largely to a defiant unbeaten half-century, the only one by an Australian in the match, by Steve Waugh.

The Australian captain, Mark Taylor, blamed his team's poor batting in the first innings, where they struggled to only 186 after winning the toss, for the defeat and said: "We should have scored another 100 runs."

With Shane Warne absent through injury, India's own leg-spinner, Anil Kumble, had the centre stage to himself and he recorded his seventh five- wicket haul in a Test innings when he took another two wickets yesterday to finish with 5 for 67 and a match haul of 9 for 130.

Steve Waugh put on a brave show as he added 41 runs for the ninth wicket with Peter McIntyre to remain undefeated on 67, made in 273 minutes off 221 balls with five fours.

Resuming at 168 for 6, 11 runs in arrears of India's first-innings lead, Kumble had Brad Hogg caught at forward short-leg for four and a short time later Kumble trapped Paul Reiffel leg before wicket for six with the total on 191.

After lunch, when Australia were 232 for 8, medium-pacer Venkatesh Prasad cleaned up the Australian tail, trapping McIntyre leg-before and forcing Glenn McGrath to edge a catch to Nayan Mongia behind the stumps.

Reiffel made early inroads into India's second innings, bowling Vikram Rathore for 14 and trapping man of the match Mongia, who made 152 in the first innings, lbw for a duck.

Tendulkar, who made 10 in the first innings, also made a duck, being bowled by McGrath.

Saurav Ganguly and Tendulkar's predecessor, Mohammed Azharuddin, each chipped in 21 to help India reach their victory target. Ganguly struck three fours and Azharuddin five.

Despite the overwhelming victory on the turning pitch India's selectors have included two new faces in their 14-man squad for the forthcoming triangular one-day series against Australia and South Africa. Punjab's wicketkeeper-batsman Pankaj Dharmani, who scored an unbeaten century for the Board President's XI against Australia last week, and Karnataka opening batsman Sujit Somasundar were named for India's opening three matches.

Fourth day of five; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 182 (A Kumble 4-63).

INDIA - First Innings 361 (N Mongia 152, S Ganguly 66).

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

(Overnight: 168 for 6)

S R Waugh not out 67

G B Hogg c Rathore b Kumble 4

P R Reiffel lbw b Kumble 6

P E McIntyre lbw b Prasad 16

G D McGrath c Mongia b Prasad 0

Extras (b9 lb6 nb7 w1) 23

Total (108.3 overs) 234

Fall (cont): 7-171 8-191 9-232

Bowling: Prasad 13.3-7-18-3; Johnson 12-2-40-1 (w1); Kumble 41-12-67- 5 (nb6); Joshi 20-7-52-0; Kapoor 22-5-42-1 (nb1).

INDIA - Second Innings

V Rathore b Reiffel 14

N R Mongia lbw b Reiffel 0

S Ganguly not out 21

*S R Tendulkar b McGrath 0

M Azharuddin not out 21

Extras (w1, nb1) 2

Total (for 3, 13.2 overs) 58

Did not bat: R S Dravid, S Joshi, A R Kapoor, A R Kumble, D Johnson, V B K Prasad.

Fall: 1-1, 2-25, 3-26

Bowling: McGrath 7-2-30-1; Reiffel 6-2-24-2 (nb1, w1); McIntyre 0.2-0- 4-0.

Umpires: S Venkataraghvan (Ind) and P Willey (Eng).