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India in control with Sehwag's unbeaten 59

Published: Sunday, November 9, 2008, 12:46 [IST]
 
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NAGPUR:
Virender Sehwag hit a second successive half-century to strengthen India's position in the fourth and final Test against Australia here on Sunday.

India reached 98 without loss in their second innings at lunch for an overall lead of 184 on the fourth day, with Sehwag on 59 and debutant Murali Vijay 37 not out.

The hosts lead 1-0 in the series following their 320-run victory in the second Test in Mohali. The matches in Bangalore and New Delhi were drawn.

Sehwag built on the advantage his team gained with their defensive tactics on Saturday, when they denied Australia runs by bowling outside the off-stump for more than a session with a packed off-side field.

His 84-ball knock ensured the visitors now face a tough task to level the series. He reached his 17th half-century in 64 Tests when he slog-swept off-spinner Jason Krejza for a four.

Sehwag, who made 66 in the first innings, went for his shots from the beginning as he smashed paceman Brett Lee's full-toss over the bowler's head.

Lee, on a drip for dehydration on Saturday afternoon, bowled just five overs for 24 runs before being replaced by first-innings star Krejza.

Krejza, who became only the sixth bowler to take eight wickets in a debut innings on Friday, was pressed into the attack after only 10 overs, but failed to unsettle the openers. He has so far conceded 46 in eight overs.

Vijay played a supporting role, having so far struck four boundaries in his 79-ball knock.

Australia have not lost a Test series since the 2005 Ashes in England.

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