Sehwag makes hay in drawn game

Published: Monday, January 28, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Virender Sehwag's masterful 236-ball 151 ensured India a well-deserved draw in the fourth and final Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval on Monday.

Tourists were 269/7 decl in second essay, an overall lead of 232, when skipper Kumble and his Aussie counterpart decided to call-off the match that was virtually heading towards a draw on the final day.

Anil Kumble (9) and Ishant Sharma (2) were at the crease when match was called-off

Australia retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 2-1 win of four-Test series.

The hosts won by 337 runs at MCG and by 122 runs at SCG, while India won by 72 runs at WACA in Perth.

Brett Lee won the player of the series award for his 24 wickets at an average of 22.58 off 186.5 overs while Tendulkar earned Man-of-the-Match award for his majestic 153 in the first innings.

This was the 21st draw in 72 Australia-India Tests. Australia has won 34, India has won 16 and there has been one tie - at M A Chidambaram, Chennai in 1986.

Viru stood tall amidst the Indian batting ruins. He played an untypical knock mixing caution with aggression. His 236-ball knock was studded with 11 hits to fence and two over it.

Resuming at the overnight score of 45/1, India added 97 off 24 overs in the first session before losing the wicket of Tendulkar (13) while Dravid (11) was retd hurt.

Sehwag surviving the early scares settled into groove quickly to keep the score mounting even as his partners Dravid and Tendulkar were mere onlookers during their stand of 71 off 84 balls.

He added 55 runs with Dravid and shared 61-run stand with Tendulkar and it is needless to say Viru did the bulk of scoring.

Dravid faced 21 balls without adding to his overnight score, then retired hurt with a damaged right middle finger. He was struck by a lifter from Lee and reluctantly left to the dressing room.

The extent of the damage was not known but an Indian team spokesman said Dravid was having x-rays.

However undeterred Sehwag continued in his usual style. He was not afraid to swing left-arm spinner Brad Hogg over wide mid-wicket for six - one of two sixes for the innings - and he also hit nine fours.

He raised his hundred with an on-side push for one off Johnson, and leapt and punched the air jubilantly as he passed the stumps - and then hugged Tendulkar.

This was his 13th century in 54 Tests, including his third in 12 Tests against Australia. The 29-year-old from Delhi made 195 in Melbourne and 155 in Chennai (formerly Madras) - both in 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar (13) was run out nearing lunch. He took off for a quick single after pushing a ball from Mitchell Johnson to the off-side, but Johnson swooped on it and threw down the stumps while Tendulkar tried in vain to regain his ground.

Playing probably his final Test innings in Australia, Tendulkar received his now-mandatory standing ovation before and after his his dismissal.

Delhi swasbuckler, who scored freely in the Ist session, cut down on his shot making instincts in the subsequent sessions after Ganguly (18) and Laxman (12) were dismissed cheaply.

Sourav Ganguly (18) was caught at short cover by Michael Hussey off Johnson and VVS Laxman (12) was caught on the leg-side by Adam Gilchrist off Brett Lee.

The departure of Ganguly and Laxman in quick succession kept Sehwag quiet in the second session. The out-of-sorts Dhoni played some awkward shots before edging an attempted drive off Lee to Hayden at second slip just four overs into the final session. Dhoni added 51 runs along with well set Sehwag for the sixth wicket stand.

Moments later part-time offie Symonds ended Sehwag's 236-ball vigil at the crease for a regulation caught behind-last Test dismissal for Gilly.

Emotional Gilly leaves Test arena: Gilchrist, who played his last Test match, said after the game he was grappling with a range of emotions having played his last Test, but was content with his decision.

"It's happiness, joy, sadness, every emotion you could imagine I suppose," he told Channel Nine.

"To walk away from something you love so much... it was a big decision but I know it is the right one."

Gilchrist was given a guard of honour by his Australian teammates as he came onto the field at the start of the day.

He was also allowed to come onto the field before the rest of the team for the final session, waving to the crowd and shaking hands with both umpires before his teammates joined him.

Gilchrist revealed he tried to say a few words to his teammates before coming onto the field before tea, but was overcome with emotion.

"I tried to get a few words out during the tea break, I figured it was the last time in a Test match I'd be in the change room with just the guys," he said.

"It was very difficult, that changeroom is what means most.

"I was bawling my eyes out about two minutes before it (returning to the field)."


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