Australia build lead to 144 runs in India Test

Published: Sunday, October 12, 2008, 16:03 [IST]
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Australia lost two key second innings wickets as they increased their lead to 144 runs on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against India here on Sunday.

The tourists went to tea at 74-2 on a deteriorating wicket, with opener Simon Katich on 21 and Michael Hussey on 12.

Opener Matthew Hayden was given out leg-before to Zaheer Khan by Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf for the second time in the match, but TV replays indicated the ball would have missed the leg-stump.

Skipper Ricky Ponting was snapped up low at short mid-wicket by Venkatsai Laxman off seamer Ishant Sharma for 17.

Australia, who made 430 in their first innings, gained a lead of 70 runs when India notched up 360 in reply at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Earlier, India prolonged their innings with the help of tailender Zaheer, who smashed an unbeaten 57 to emerge as his team's top scorer.

India, who started the day at 313-8, batted till 30 minutes before lunch, before last man Sharma was bowled by part-time spinner Michael Clarke for six.

Zaheer had on Saturday put on 80 runs for the eighth wicket with fellow tailender Harbhajan Singh, who launched the home team's late charge with a stroke-filled 54.

India's last five wickets added a valuable 205 runs after the top five had been dismissed with just 155 on the board.

Zaheer batted for three hours to compile his second Test fifty with the help of seven boundaries.

India's total was helped along by a whopping 52 extras conceded by the Australians, including 23 byes by wicket-keeper Brad Haddin on the unpredictable pitch.

They were the highest number of extras given away by an Australian team against India in an innings, surpassing the 45 Allan Border's tourists conceded in Mumbai during the 1986 series.

Indian captain Anil Kumble, who came in on Saturday evening at the fall of Harbhajan's wicket, put on 31 for the ninth wicket with Zaheer before he was leg-before to Shane Watson for five.

Watson finished with 3-45, while left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson failed to add to Saturday's tally of four wickets.

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