Sydney: In-form Matthew Hayden scored an unbeaten half-century to give Australia an 108-run lead over India in the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday as rain threat looms large over the final session of play and 'morrow.
Hayden followed up his century in last week's first Test win in Melbourne with 77 not out to guide Australia to 177/2 in their second innings when inclement weather forced tea to be taken early on the fourth day.
Mike Hussey was unbeaten on 43 after being dropped by Yuvraj Singh on the last ball of the session with Australia 108 ahead after trailing by 69 on the first innings.
Australia started the day on 13/0 and looking to score quick runs in the hope of pushing for a victory to equal their own world record of 16 consecutive test wins.
But their chances suffered a setback when they lost two wickets before lunch and light showers forced two brief delays.
Opener Phil Jaques departed for 42 after batting for almost two hours in an 85-run partnership with Hayden.
The left-hander struck five boundaries to get within sight of a half-century when he holed out to Yuvraj Singh in the deep off Indian spinner Anil Kumble.
Ricky Ponting departed for just one run after being caught by Laxman at silly point off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh, who has dismissed the Australian captain eight times in eight Tests.
Harbhajan scored a half-century in India's first innings of 532 but is facing a charge of racial abuse after an incident on Friday with Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
Hayden brought up his half-century off 101 balls but finished the session batting with a runner after he started having problems running.
Brief Scores: (at tea, D-4):
Australia 463&177/2 ( Hayden 77 n o, Hussey 43 n o, Jaques 42; Harbhajan 1 for 40, Kumble 1 for 59) Vs India 532.