Australia on top after Sehwag blitz
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 2nd October 2010
Virender Sehwag did what he knows the best as he stunned the Australian side with a blistering half-century before he fell towards the close o day's play. India finished at 110 for 2 at stumps in reply to the visitors' 428, with Rahul Dravid unbeaten on 21 and the nightwatchman Ishant Sharma on 0.
Resuming at 224 for 5, the Australians frustrated the hosts with some slow defensive batting. Watson and Paine began from where they stopped yesterday as they defended stoutly.Watson's concentration finally broke when he pushed at a flighted off-spinner from Harbhajan and popped it to Gambhir at short leg. The wicket threatened to change the game but it was not.
Having crawled 71 in the opening session, Australia relaxed through Paine and Johnson after lunch and started to swing freely against the tiring spin duo. Johnson provided a necessary boost to take Australia to safer ground. Paine also increased his rate, lifting Ojha over midwicket for consecutive boundaries. The keeper-batsman neared his maiden Test ton but a sharp catch from VVS Laxman ended his stay at the crease. That wicket was Zaheer's fifth wicket. The innings ended when Bollinger holed out to provide Ojha with his first wicket.
The Indian openers showed positive intent as they put on 81 in 13.2 overs. The Indians were cantering along at a run a ball to upset a visiting attack that battled to regain control. Gambhir was lbw to Johnson but the most important blow came with a few minutes left in the day when Sehwag's leading edge went to Michael Clarke at cover.