Tendulkar hits new heights to leave Australia struggling

India 705-7 dec Australia 342-6
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The Independent Online

Steve Waugh could not summon a trademark salvage job for his international finale, seeing off major wrecker Anil Kumble before falling for 40 as Australia ended yesterday at 342 for six and India moved into a series–winning position in the fourth test.

Simon Katich was batting on 51 and Brett Lee survived four balls without scoring at stumps. Australia still required 164 runs to reach the follow–on target (506) with two days remaining.

Sachin Tendulkar's career–high 241 not out inspired India to its highest ever test innings of 705 for seven, the biggest total the Australians have ever conceded at home, before Sourav Ganguly declared the innings closed 40 minutes into the third day.

Anil Kumble chimed in with four top–order wickets after Justin Langer (117) and Matthew Hayden (67) started aggressively in a 147–run opening stand. Irfan Pathan had Waugh caught behind and bowled Adam Gilchrist (6) with an inswinging yorker in a late spell.

The series is level at 1–1 and India needs only a draw in the last test here to retain the Border–Gavaskar trophy it secured in 2001.

However, with India holding a lead of 363 and needing 14 wickets in six sessions to win, a more likely scenario is Australia losing a test series at home for the first time in 11 years.

"We have a great chance to win. We just need to think about taking each wicket – think about that rather than the ultimate result," said Kumble. "If we do that with the discipline we can, the result will look after itself."

Kumble had Hayden and Langer caught out on either side of the tea interval, trapped No. 3 Ricky Ponting (25) lbw and caught–and–bowled Damien Martyn (7) to have Australia in trouble at 261 for four. He finished with figures of 4–103 off 31 overs, including 3–54 in the evening session.

Now the joint leading bowler in the series with 16 wickets, Kumble triggered the Australian collapse with his enormous variation of deliveries.

But keeping Australia pegged would be difficult, said Kumble, who is one of two bowlers to take all 10 wickets in a test innings (10–74 vs. Pakistan in 1999).

"They do attack and do give you some chances, but they're always positive and get runs very quickly – it's always a challenge."

Australia's centurion Langer said playing for a draw was not something the Australians were familiar with, but something they were conscious of doing at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"If we could fight for a draw it would be a good result in this game," said Langer, who was still giving Australia a chance to "steal a strange victory" if forced to follow–on.

He didn't rule out another match–saving innings from Waugh.

"It would nice for him to play one of his characteristic hero innings to put us in a position to win or fight out one of those draws he's been talking about."

It would be difficult, he said, after the Australians had spent many days in the field and always seemed to be chasing big totals all series.

Waugh shared a 50–run rearguard stand with Katich and stubbornly defended against Kumble before he was out prodding at Pathan, who had reverse swing working in his late spell, making the score 311 for five. Pathan then bowled Gilchrist in the penultimate over and returned 2–46.

After reaching the tea interval at 210 for one, the Australians lost five wickets for 132 runs in the last 38 overs.

Langer, who reached his 17th test century with a reverse sweep to the boundary off Murali Kartik, got a top edge and 'keeper Parthiv Patel ran square of the wicket to complete the catch.

Ponting was trapped lbw by a faster, flatter leg–break to make the total 229 for three and bring Waugh to the crease on his home ground.

A crowd of more than 40,000 people rose to its feet to applaud the out–going Australian skipper and chanted "Steve Waugh, Steve Waugh."

He took charge of a 32–run stand with Martyn before the No. 4 was deceived with flight and lobbed a simple return catch to Kumble.

The Indians resumed Sunday at 650 for five and added 55 for the loss of Patel (62) and Ajit Agarkar in 40 minutes before Ganguly declared. Tendulkar added 21 to his overnight 220 and posted the highest individual test innings by an Indian abroad.

Tendulkar faced 436 balls in a 10–hour batting stint that spanned three days and ended a 14–month stretch between centuries.

Lee, who took both wickets in the morning session, finished 4–201 in 39.3 overs – becoming only the second Australian bowler to concede 200 runs or more in one test innings. Fast bowler Jason Gillespie had 3–135 from 45 overs.

India achieved a number of milestones in its innings, producing the biggest total by a touring test team in Australia – improving on England's 636 in 1928–29 – and its biggest ever total in tests, surpassing its 676 for seven against Sri Lanka at Kanpur in 1986.

(Third day of five; India won toss)

INDIA - First Innings (Friday night: 284-3)
A Chopra b Lee 45
V Sehwag c Gilchrist b Gillespie 72
R Dravid lbw b Gillespie 38
S R Tendulkar not out 241
V V S Laxman b Gillespie 178
S C Ganguly b Lee 16
P A Patel c Gilchrist b Lee 62
A B Agarkar b Lee 2
I K Pathan not out 13
Extras (b4 lb5 w4 nb25) 38
Total (for 7 dec, 187.3 overs) 705

Fall: 1-123 2-128 3-194 4-547 5-570 6-671 7-678.

Did not bat: A Kumble, M Kartik.

Bowling: Lee 39.3-5-201-4; Gillespie 45-11-135-3; Bracken 37-13-97-0; MacGill 38-5-146-0; Waugh 2-0-6-0; Katich 17-1-84-0; Martyn 9-1-27-0.

AUSTRALIA - First Innings
J L Langer c Patel b Kumble 117
M L Hayden c Ganguly b Kumble 67
R T Ponting lbw b Kumble 25
D R Martyn c & b Kumble 7
S R Waugh c Patel b Pathan 40
S M Katich not out 51
A C Gilchrist b Pathan 6
B Lee not out 0
Extras b5 lb5 w3 nb16 29
Total (for 6, 80 overs) 342

Fall: 1-147 2-214 3-229 4-261 5-311 6-341.

To Bat: J N Gillespie, N W Bracken, S C G MacGill.

Bowling: Agarkar 18-3-82-0; Pathan 15-3-46-2; Kumble 31-5-103-4; Kartik 16-1-101-0.

Umpires: B F Bowden (NZ) and S A Bucknor (WI).


281 V V S Laxman v Australia at Calcutta, 2000-01

241* Sachin Tendulkar v Australia at Sydney, 2003-04

236* Sunil Gavaskar v West Indies at Madras, 1983-84

233 Rahul Dravid v Australia at Adelaide, 2003-04

231 Vinoo Mankad v New Zealand at Madras, 1955-56

227 Vinod Kambli v Zimbabwe at Delhi, 1992-93

224 Vinod Kambli v England at Bombay, 1992-93

223 Polly Umrigar v New Zealand at Hyderabad, 1955-56

223 Vinoo Mankad v New Zealand at Bombay, 1955-56

222 Gundappa Viswanath v England at Madras, 1981-82

222 Rahul Dravid v New Zealand at Ahmedabad, 2003-04