Australia finishes 355 runs ahead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia finishes 355 runs ahead

By Will Swanton 08/10/2004 10:07:44 PM Comments (0)

A spectacular piece of fielding from Harbhajan Singh ran out Matthew Hayden, brought the Chinnaswami Stadium crowd to life, had the rejuvenated Indian fielders embracing in the middle of the ground and proved the hosts were going to fight tooth and nail to save the first Test.

This isn't quite over yet.

Australia was 4-127 at stumps on day three, an overall lead of 355 runs with the infamous creek-bed pitch showing the first signs of falling apart, setting the scene for Shane Warne to bowl Australia to victory over the final two days and grab the Test wicket-taking record from Muttiah Muralitharan.

Maybe.

The tourists are so dominant right now but when it comes to India in India - against Australia - nothing can be taken for granted. The dismissals of Justin Langer for a duck, Hayden for 30, Simon Katich for 39 and Darren Lehmann for 14 offered renewed hope of a revival although making anything over 400 to win will require something of a miracle.

Hayden versus Harbhajan, part II, took an unexpected turn when Simon Katich dabbed fast bowler Irfan Pathan wide of point with Australia 1-65 in its second innings. Harbhajan grabbed the ball on the run and made a direct hit on the stumps with a pinpoint throw that left Hayden millimetres short of his ground for 30.

Tempers appeared to become frayed when Damien Martyn had words with Harbhajan during the final session. Umpire Billy Bowden spoke to the Indian offspinner, who is a lively competitor known to say a few words in the heat of battle. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly listened in before they all seemed to come to a slightly uneasy truce.

Martyn was 29 at stumps with Michael Clarke on 11.

Hayden fell to Harbhajan in the first innings and his old foe was introduced to the attack in just the 10th over of Australia's second innings. His first ball spun wildly to only just miss the outside edge of Hayden's broad bat.

The next ball was a bit shorter and Hayden rocked back and thumped it to the fence through covers. From that moment he had Harbhajan's measure as he compiled a 65-run partnership with Simon Katich (39) that helped Australia recover from 1-0 following Langer's fourth-ball duck.

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