Tendulkar ton reduces Australian lead to 39


Sydney : Sachin Tendulkar scored his 38th Test century and reduced the Australian lead to just 39 runs as India were 424 for the loss of seven wickets by tea on the third day of the second Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here Friday.

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Tendulkar was batting on 106. Harbhajan Singh on 41 was with him. The duo had added 79 runs for the eighth wicket to guide India to a comfortable position in reply to Australia’s first innings score of 463.

Resuming on their overnight score of 216 for three, Tendulkar and Ganguly (67) added 108 runs for the fourth wicket. But two quick wickets before lunch pegged India back to 322 for five by the break.

The duo batted in contrasting style and helped India get past the 300-mark. Ganguly continued his good run with some gorgeous strokes through the off side and his timing was impeccable. Meanwhile, Tendulkar was circumspect and was happy to defend against the seamers.

Ganguly used his feet well against the spinners and heaved Brad Hogg over mid-on, lofted Michael Clarke over the straight boundary and cut when the spinners corrected the length. He fell to a soft dismissal at the end, as tried to clear mid-off, with Hogg getting a crucial wicket once more.

Yuvraj Singh’s poor run with the bat continued as he was out for 12, trapped leg before wicket by Brett Lee with the second new ball.

The situation was no different in the post lunch session.

Vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Anil Kumble departed quickly with identical scores of two and India slumped to 345 for sven.

But Harbhajan gave admirable support to Tendulkar and took the attack to the Australians.