India dominate on memorable day for Tendulkar

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The Independent Online

Sachin Tendulkar claimed his place in the history books today, becoming the leading run-scorer in Test cricket with a half-century for India against Australia at Mohali.

Tendulkar needed 15 runs on day one of the second Test to top Brian Lara's record of 11,953 - and passed that with ease to take the plaudits and help India gain a position of strength in Mohali.

He was eventually dismissed for 88, and his record-breaking achievement was marked with fireworks - and congratulations from the Australia players.

Australia's left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson picked up three top-order wickets in quick succession to trigger a mini-collapse.

But India wrested control thanks to a 142-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (54no), the pair helping the hosts finish the day on 311 for five.

Anil Kumble was ruled out with a shoulder injury, and stand-in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bat first - with Amit Mishra handed his first Test cap.

Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir scored freely in a stand of 70.

But Johnson got Sehwag caught behind off a short delivery.

Rahul Dravid joined Gambhir, who went to his half-century with successive lofted boundaries off part-time spinner Michael Clarke.

Dravid also looked in fine touch and was the dominant partner in a 76-run stand until he inside-edged an attempted drive at Brett Lee on to his leg-stump - and then Gambhir, joined by Tendulkar, went to a thin outside edge behind off Johnson as India slipped from 146 for one to 146 for three.

VVS Laxman was Johnson's third victim, caught behind down the leg-side, bringing in Ganguly.

Tendulkar had started cautiously - with only one boundary, a sublime cover drive, in his first 15 runs.

He then guided debutant seamer Peter Siddle down to third man for three runs to go past Lara's record.

The game was briefly halted as the Australian players congratulated Tendulkar, and fireworks were set off in the stands.

Once beyond Lara's mark, Tendulkar cut loose. Driving and cutting with precision, he got to his 50th century in just 80 deliveries, hitting five boundaries along the way.

A century was there for the taking when Siddle struck with the second new ball - inducing an edge as Tendulkar chased a delivery outside off stump and edged to Matthew Hayden at first slip.

His knock came off 111 deliveries and contained 10 boundaries.

Ganguly went on to reach his half-century, the left-hander's knock overshadowed by Tendulkar's achievements at the other end.