Gambhir gets century as India moves to big lead

India opener Gautam Gambhir produced his second century during India’s brutal demolition of Australia as the hosts raced to 230 for 2 wickets and a lead of 431 at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test.

Left-hander Gambhir combined with Virender Sehwag in a stunning 182-run partnership for the first wicket that deflated the already struggling tourists.

Sehwag provided most of the power, but Gambhir stayed longer than his partner as India prepared to set Australia a massive victory target.

After losing Sehwag, Gambhir moved to his century with a boundary through mid-wicket off Cameron White shortly before lunch. He had struck seven fours during his 136-ball stay, but left two deliveries later when he chipped to mid-off while on 104.

Gambhir’s half-century came in the fourth over of the day, and in the next over he hit legspinner White for a straight six that lost the ball. Fifteen runs were struck off White’s six balls and he also experienced harsh treatment from Sehwag.

Sehwag smashed 90 from 122 deliveries before his aggressive knock ended when Peter Siddle had him caught behind by Brad Haddin.

Gambhir and Sehwag scored at will and had 60 runs from the first ten overs of the morning against a wilting attack.

Australia started with bowlers Shane Watson and White before Mitchell Johnson was introduced. Spearhead Brett Lee, who suffered a right hand injury in the first innings, did not bowl before lunch.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who promoted himself to number three, was unbeaten on 26 at lunch and waiting to declare.

India added 100 without loss in 23 overs on the third evening to gain a 301-run advantage.

Australia had been dismissed for 268—with Watson top-scoring with 78 -after rookie legspinner Amit Mishra became the sixth Indian bowler to claim five wickets in an innings in his first game. - Sapa-AP

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