India fight back after Aussie assault

Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir took India's score to 68/0 in reply to Australia's 430 runs at the end of second day's play in Bangalore.

updated: October 14, 2008 11:14 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir launched the counterattack and flayed Australian pacers all round the park when heavy rain forced the umpires to draw the stumps on Day 2 of the Bangalore Test.

India were 68 without loss in reply to Australia's 430 runs with Sehwag contributing 43 runs and Gambhir scoring 20. Sehwag slammed seven fours in his innings while his partner hit three.

Earlier, fast bowler Zaheer Khan completed his 5-wicket haul in the last session of the day's play to wrap the innings for 430 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

After picking Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke on the first day, Zaheer went wicketless in the first two sessions but came back strongly in the last one to pick three wickets in successive overs.

He first got Brett Lee for 27 runs and broke his 59-run partnership with Michael Hussey. He kept the delivery low and the ball kissed the off-stump. Mitchell Johnson perished to his reverse swing but Zaheer relished his last wicket. He clean bowled Hussey for 146 runs. A fuller and wider delivery from the hunky pacer took a thick inside edge before knocking the middle stump.

The other pacer, Ishant Sharma too finished with four wickets. The Delhi bowler got rid of Simon Katich, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Cameron White.

But one Australian outshined everybody. Better known as Mr. Cricket, Hussey slammed a well-crafted century to put his side in a commanding position. Hussey, who completed his ninth Test century, was instrumental in two big partnerships with Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin. He came on to the crease after Simon Katich departed on Thursday and played a second fiddle to skipper Ponting to add 60 runs with him for the third wicket.

He took charge of the Australian innings after his captain went back in the hut. He added 28 runs with Michael Clarke before Zaheer dismissed 'Pup' for 11 runs. Shane Watson, who joined him on the second day, failed to grab the opportunity and fell for just two runs. He lackadaisically tried getting his bat to an incoming delivery from Ishant only to miss, as ball clipped the off-stump.

Brad Haddin, the wicketkeeper batsman, gave a good support to Hussey and added 91 runs for the sixth wicket before Ishant claimed him. The lanky seamer bowled a slower delivery and Haddin, misreading it, offered a shot that was latched by VVS laxman at short cover. White fell in the similar fashion after scoring just six runs.

Match report: Day 1