Aussies build lead to 282 runs over India in first Test

Published: Friday, December 28, 2007, 10:43 [IST]
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Australia pushed their lead over India to 282 runs after the third morning of the opening cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Australians lost the wickets of first-innings centurion Matthew Hayden and skipper Ricky Ponting along the way but the Indians could make no further headway into the home side's batting.

At lunch, Australia were 135 for two with Phil Jaques on 49 and Mike Hussey not out 29.

The highest successful run chase in the fourth innings at the MCG was England's 332 for seven established 79 years ago.

But the drop-in pitch is playing low and high scoring will be problematic in the fourth innings as temperatures are expected to rise over the remaining days of the Boxing Day Test.

Harbhajan Singh picked up the wickets of Hayden and Ponting in four balls in the only road hump in Australia's steady accumulation of runs in the morning session.

Hayden had just past 8,000 Test runs when he skied finger-spinner Harbhajan off a leading edge to Sourav Ganguly at long-off for 47.

The first-innings centurion batted for 84 minutes and hit six boundaries off 54 balls.

Ponting failed for the second time in the Boxing Day Test when he was caught at slip by Rahul Dravid playing forward for three in Harbhajan's next over.

His four and three were his first single digit scores in a Test since six and a duck against India at Calcutta 72 Tests ago in March 2001.

Harbhajan, who went wicketless and conceded 61 runs off 20 overs in the first innings, claimed his 250th Test wicket with Ponting's dismissal in his 61st Test match.

The turbaned Harbhajan's Test career high point was his 32 wickets at 17.03 in the three-match home series against Australia in 2001.

Overall Harbhajan has taken 58 wickets against Australia.

Read more about: aussies, build, lead, runs
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