India's tail wags to post imposing score

Captain Anil Kumble fell short of a second Test century as India’s tail wagged strongly to help the tourists post a big score in the fourth Test against Australia on Friday.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, India were dismissed for an imposing 526 just after tea on the second day, Sachin Tendulkar top-scoring with a majestic 153.

In reply, Australia were 62 without loss at stumps, with Matthew Hayden on 36 and Phil Jaques on 21.

The Aussies had only one scare, when Jaques was almost run out on 12 by an alert Dinesh Karthik, the substitute fielder missing with a backhand flick at the stumps that would have had the opener well out had it hit.

In a blow for the Indians, opening bowler RP Singh left the field late in the day with what appeared to be a slight hamstring strain.

Kumble was the last man out in India’s highest total at the Adelaide Oval, caught behind by Adam Gilchrist for 87 off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson, having added 58 for the last wicket with number 11 Ishant Sharma.

The catch was Gilchrist’s fourth for the innings and earned him the record for wicketkeeping dismissals, his tally of 414 edging him one ahead of South Africa’s Mark Boucher.

However, it was India’s day as their tail did a fine job after they were reduced to 359-7.

The tourists, determined to level the series, were aided by a host of dropped catches from the normally clinical Australians.

Sharma, who finished 14 not out, was given three lives, including a simple return catch off the bowling of Michael Clarke, who has spilt a number of chances during the series, when he was on four.

Kumble, dropped by Jaques on seven, was at the crease for 260 minutes, faced 205 balls and hit nine fours.

India’s hopes of posting more than 400 seemed in jeopardy when Tendulkar was the seventh man out, but Kumble and Harbhajan Singh (63) then frustrated the Australians by putting on 107 for the eighth wicket.

Harbhajan’s entertaining knock finally came to an end when he tried to hit Andrew Symonds out of the ground and only skied the ball off a top edge, Gilchrist taking an easy catch to equal Boucher’s record.

Earlier, Tendulkar holed out to Brad Hogg on the square leg boundary from the bowling of Brett Lee to end a memorable innings.

It was the first ball after Tendulkar received extended treatment to his knee, having been struck a painful blow when he miscued an attempted pull off the previous delivery from the Australian paceman.

Tendulkar went into the match with just 122 runs at 20,33 in his three previous visits to Adelaide Oval, but made sure his last Test at the home ground of his idol, Donald Bradman, would be a memorable one with his 39th century.

He looked in magnificent touch on the second day, playing some glorious shots in the first hour of play before being struck by Lee the ball after reaching 150.

Tendulkar, who has 480 runs at 80 in the series, faced 205 balls and hit 13 fours and three sixes, earning a pat on the back from the successful bowler and a standing ovation as he left the field.

Lee was again the most impressive of the Australian bowlers with 3-101, while Johnson finished with 4-126.

India are 2-1 down in the four-match series and cannot regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.—AFP


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