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Tendulkar, Ganguly power India on day of milestones

Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges the crowd after becoming Test cricket's highest run-scorer.

Milestones took centre stage as India closed the first day of the second Test on 311-5 against Australia in Mohali on Friday.

Sachin Tendulkar eclipsed Brian Lara to become the leading run-getter in Test cricket, followed it up with a half-century, and added eight more runs to become the first batsman to score 12000 Test runs before falling short of his 40th Test hundred just before stumps. His partner at the other end, Sourav Ganguly secured one of his own by reaching 7000 runs in the longer version of the game.

Ganguly was batting on 54 and nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was unbeaten on two when stumps were called, after India seemed to throw away a near perfect start to their innings after stand-in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat in the absence of Anil Kumble, who ruled himself out the game.

India would have more tick marks in the honours board, but the wicket of Tendulkar towards the end of day’s play means Australia had removed half of India’s batting order, and the iffy form of Dhoni would surely keep them interested.

After a run-riot in the first session in which India raced to 104-1 in 25 overs, Australia fought back with three quick wickets to leave the hosts on 174-4 at the end of the second session with two new batsmen at the crease, having added just 70 runs in the afternoon session.

Old Pros Shine

This is why Tendulkar and Ganguly’s partnership β€” they added 142 for the fifth wicket β€” became all the more crucial. The hard Mohali surface allowed the batsmen to play their strokes, but had to be wary of further damage to their innings. But it was just the kind of wicket where it’s foolish for a batsman to throw it away after getting a start. Tendulkar could tell, having fallen for 88 to give debutant Peter Siddle his first Test wicket.

Dravid and Laxman had already fallen prey to soft dismissals β€” both edged to the wicketkeeper down the leg side β€” while Sehwag too fell to an edge. At four wickets down and virtually no momentum propelling the score, the duo had to wait for their scoring opportunities.

They came, and they came in plenty. Both Tendulkar and Ganguly were aided by a pitch they could trust, and the occasional loose delivery was promptly dispatched to the boundary, much like Gautam Gambhir did in the morning.

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October 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment