Gritty Hussey leads Australia to big total

Published: Friday, October 10, 2008, 14:41 [IST]
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The ever reliable Michael Hussey hit a solid century to lift Australia towards a big first innings score in the first Test against India here on Friday.

The left-hander was unbeaten on 135 as the tourists moved from their lunch score of 333-5 to 416-7 by tea on the second day at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Seamer Ishant Sharma removed Brad Haddin and debutant Cameron White in the space of three overs after lunch, but Brett Lee helped Hussey along by adding 54 for the unbroken eighth wicket.

Lee went to the break on 26.

Hussey, who averages 72 in 26 matches after making his Test debut three years ago aged 30, has already scored nine hundreds and as many half-centuries in his remarkable career.

Entering the fray just before tea on Thursday, Hussey has so far batted for six hours and 23 minutes, hitting 14 boundaries and a six to frustrate India's hopes of terminating the innings early.

Wicket-keeper Haddin, who came in after Shane Watson had been removed in the day's third over, put on 91 for the sixth wicket with Hussey, himself contributing 33.

Sharma had Haddin and White caught in the cover region to deliveries that came off slowly from the barren pitch, an indication that batting may become difficult as the Test progresses.

Indian captain Anil Kumble returned with unflattering figures of 0-117 from 41 overs, while spin partner Harbhajan Singh had 1-103 on a wicket that provided no help to the slow bowlers.

Watson, who walked out with Hussey after Michael Clarke was dismissed in the last over on Thursday, fell in the third over with just five runs added to the overnight score of 254-4.

The all-rounder (two) survived a confident leg-before appeal off Sharma, before being bowled by an inswinging ball later in the same over.

Hussey, who was on 49 when Watson fell, took charge with three boundaries off Zaheer Khan, two of them exquisite cover drives and the third a ferocious pull to square-leg.

Australia were helped along by shabby Indian fielding, highlighted by retiring former captain Sourav Ganguly letting the ball pass through his legs at mid-off.

Ganguly, 36, said on Tuesday he will retire from international cricket after the four-Test series ends.

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