Tendulkar notches up 40th Test century
A stunning 40th Test century by Sachin Tendulkar enabled India to take early control of the final Test before Australia hit back late on Thursday. Spl: Big Game Hunting | Full Scorecardcricket Updated: Nov 06, 2008 18:33 IST
A stunning 40th Test century by Sachin Tendulkar enabled India to take early control of the final Test before Australia hit back late on Thursday.
The record-breaking batsman scored 109 and put on 146 for the fourth wicket with Vangipurappu Laxman (64), playing in his 100th test, to help India close day one at 311 for five.
At stumps, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (4) was at the crease with former captain Saurav Ganguly (27), who is playing in his final test.
Accurate left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson dismissed Tendulkar lbw with the second new ball after debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza took his third wicket when he pegged back the hosts by dismissing Laxman caught behind by Brad Haddin.
The 35-year-old Tendulkar had guided India out of trouble after Krejza took two quick wickets to put the brakes on after a blazing start by Virender Sehwag.
Sehwag hit a breezy 66 with nine fours and a six and put on 98 for the opening wicket with debutant Murali Vijay (33) after the hosts chose to bat.
India lead 1-0 in the four-match series after winning the second test at Mohali by a record 320 runs. The other tests were drawn.
The 25-year-old Krejza dismissed Rahul Dravid (0) and Sehwag, who lashed him for a four and a six in his first over, after medium-pacer Shane Watson sent back Vijay.
Krejza was picked in place of seamer Stuart Clark as a second specialist spinner alongside Cameron White to exploit the spin-friendly conditions in a bid to avoid their first series defeat since the 2005 Ashes in England.
Introduced early into the attack, Krejza, a tall, loopy spinner, had out-of-form Dravid caught at forward short leg with a delivery that jumped and turned.
Four overs later, he bowled Sehwag off an inside edge as the batsman shaped to cut.
But Tendulkar, for whom it was a 10th test century against Australia, and Laxman, who scored a 200 not out and 59 in the previous test, guided India out of trouble.
Both batsmen targeted Krejza, who bowled a marathon 28 overs conceding 138 runs.
In-form Tendulkar, who is test cricket's highest run-getter and century maker, reached his ton by cutting Krejza to the boundary.
But his innings, studded with 12 fours, was not flawless. He survived a run out chance on 74 and was dropped twice in the deep mid-off region off Krejza -- at 85 by Johnson and 96 by Brett Lee.
Fit-again Harbhajan Singh returned to the India side in place of former captain Anil Kumble, who abruptly retired after the last test.
(Editing by Ken Ferris)
First Published: Nov 06, 2008 09:33 IST