Sehwag's swagger takes limelight from Warne's record haul

Australia 235 India 291-6
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The Independent Online

A superb century by Virender Sehwag helped India establish a useful first-innings lead on the second day of the second Test against Australia in Chennai despite Shane Warne becoming the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

A superb century by Virender Sehwag helped India establish a useful first-innings lead on the second day of the second Test against Australia in Chennai despite Shane Warne becoming the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

Warne claimed his 533rd victim during the morning session to move ahead of Sri Lankan rival Muttiah Muralitharan when he had Irfan Pathan caught at slip by Matthew Hayden for 14.

But Sehwag hit 155 before a stubborn seventh-wicket partnership between Mohammad Kaif and Parthiv Patel saw India reach 291 for six at close - a lead of 56 runs.

Kaif (34 not out) and Patel (27 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 58 to put India in control after two wickets from Jason Gillespie had threatened to undo much of Sehwag's good work.

Warne's dismissal of Pathan had reduced India to 83 for two when Sehwag and Rahul Dravid came together but the pair guided the total into three figures before the former moved towards his seventh Test hundred in attacking fashion.

He survived a scare on 92 after skying a miscued drive to deep extra cover, but the ball fell just out of reach of the despairing dive of Simon Katich.

Sehwag made the most of the let-off and completed his ton from 147 balls when he drove Michael Kasprowicz through the covers for his 15th boundary, his second 50 coming from just 56 deliveries.

Australia finally made a much-needed breakthrough and ended the 95-run partnership when Dravid, having reached 26, played back to Kasprowicz but got an inside edge onto his stumps.

Kasprowicz looked to have claimed his second wicket of the over when Sourav Ganguly was caught by Katich at third slip before the India captain had even got off the mark, but the delivery was ruled out for a no-ball.

Sehwag was also fortunate to survive when umpire David Shepherd rejected Australia's appeal for a catch by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist off Darren Lehmann, with television replays appearing to suggest the ball had come off Sehwag's glove.

The tourists' run of misfortune continued in the final over before tea when Kasprowicz forced Ganguly to edge behind, but Gilchrist dropped a relatively straightforward chance behind the stumps.

It did not prove too costly, however, as Ganguly had only reached nine when Gillespie once again found the edge and this time Gilchrist made no mistake to reduce India to 203 for four shortly after the interval.

Only another 10 runs had been added before Gillespie struck again with a ball which kept low and knocked over VVS Laxman's off-stump for four, with Australia now threatening to prevent India building a sizeable lead.

Sehwag remained at the crease though and reached 150 for the third time in his career and for the second time against Australia.

He took India to within two runs of Australia's first-innings total of 235, but he then holed out to Michael Clarke in the deep to present Warne with his third wicket and give Clarke his first catch in Test cricket.

Much to Australia's frustration, that proved to be the last wicket to fall on the second day as Kaif and Patel forged a solid partnership.

Warne almost accounted for Patel on 20 but failed to hold a difficult chance at first slip off Gillespie and the India pair will look to increase their side's advantage on day three.

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