Tendulkar saves India but misses Lara record

Australia 430 & 228-6d India 360 & 177-4
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The Independent Online

Sachin Tendulkar hit a match-saving 49 but fell just short of becoming the most prolific run-scorer in Test cricket as India drew the first game of the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia here in Bangalore yesterday. The tourists, in their usual indomitable style, had pressed for victory on the final day, declaring their second innings on 228 for 6 after notching 35 quick runs from five overs in the morning session.

That left India with a target of 299 to achieve an improbable victory in a minimum of 83 overs. Brett Lee and Stuart Clark made early breakthroughs for Australia, but Tendulkar enjoyed half-century partnerships with Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman to halt Australia's charge.

India finished the day on 177 for 4, with Laxman unbeaten on 42 and Sourav Ganguly still there on 26 with play called off 10 overs early due to bad light. Tendulkar was out just 15 runs shy of breaking Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs in Test cricket.

The man of the match Zaheer Khan said Australia's failure to force a victory would put them under more pressure for the remainder of the series. "They know they can't take our 20 wickets. They couldn't get me and Bhajji [Harbhajan Singh] out, what else do you want? They are under pressure, we know that."

For his part, the Australia captain Ricky Ponting criticised India's tactics. "We were the only ones trying to take the game forward. I am not surprised by the way they played, the Indian team do play a lot of drawn games." The second Test in the four-match series starts in Mohali on Friday.

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