North puts Australia in a position of strength
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 10th October 2010
The Australian bowlers on the back of century by Marcus North gave Australia the control of the second and final Test against India. North composed a fluent 128 to pile up 478 in their first innings before they were all out at the stroke of tea on the second day.
The tourists then removed Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid quickly before Tendulkar and Vijay helped India recover to 128-2 at the end of day. Sehwag smashed a typically robust 30 off 28 balls, including a six over third-man off Mitchell Johnson, before he was caught at deep square-leg off Ben Hilfenhaus. Dravid edged a catch off Johnson to reduce India to 38-2, but Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay retrieved the situation by adding 90 for the unbroken third wicket.
Tendulkar was unbeaten on a fluent 44, having extended his world record tally to 14,017 runs. Vijay kept him company on 42.
North and wicket-keeper Tim Paine added 149 for the sixth wicket to boost the total. North hit 17 boundaries and a six before he was caught in the deep off Harbhajan Singh, who finished as India's most successful bowler with 4-148. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took 3-120, but Sreesanth disappointed on his return to the Indian team with 0-79 from 21 overs.
North and Paine batted through the morning session to take the overnight score of 285-5 to 384 without further loss by lunch. The duo hammered the Indian pace attack of Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth to keep the scoreboard moving briskly in the first hour. Paine, who made 92 in the first Test in Mohali, continued to frustrate the Indian bowlers with his second successive half-century. The 25-year-old earned two lucky reprieves on either side of the lunch break. He was on 40 when wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a catch off Sreesanth, but umpire Ian Gould judged a no-ball after consulting the television umpire.
Paine moved to 57 when he drove Ojha uppishly to covers where the usually reliable Suresh Raina spilled a simple catch, but he managed just two more runs before falling to the bowler's next over. Ojha trapped Mitchell Johnson leg-before for no score as Australia slipped from 405-5 to 415-7. With partners running out, North attempted to get quick runs and pulled Harbhajan to the deep mid-wicket fence, where Sreesanth took a good catch. Nathan Haurtiz was run out by a direct throw from debutant Cheteshwar Pujara, while last man Peter George was stumped off Harbhajan.