Mohali, Oct 2 (PTI): Riding on a brutal, swift counter attack by Virender Sehwag, India raced to 110 for two at stumps, in reply to visitors’ challenging first innings total of 428, on the second day of the first Test at the PCA Stadium here.
AT THE END OF DAY’S PLAY, Rahul Dravid was batting on 21 and nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was on zero.
Sehwag batted in a manner only he is capable of and was also dismissed in a manner which is pretty similar to some of his earlier dismissals.
He smashed the Aussie bowlers to all corners of the park scoring 59 in 54 balls with the help of 10 boundaries before Mitchell Johnson banged one short but ball arrived late on Sehwag as he had closed the face of the bat. It was Michael Clarke who took a dolly at extra cover.
Sehwag with this 23rd Test half-century, now, has 50 plus knocks in 11 consecutive Tests and also shares the world record for most of number of 50s with Gautam Gambhir and Vivian Richards. Courtesy Sehwag’s blistering innings, India trail by 318 runs.
Sehwag stamped his authority as he hit Ben Hilfenhaus over third man, punched Doug Bollinger through covers, steered Mitchell Johnson to deep thirdman and heaved Nathan Hauritz over extra cover for boundaries that made the pitch, which till then seemed a difficult one, look easy to bat on.
He added 81 with Gautam Gambhir (25) in only 13.2 overs before the latter fell leg before to a Johnson delivery that kept low.
Earlier in the day, India were dealt a ‘Paineful blow’ as rookie wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine scored a gutsy 92 to defy the Indian bowlers from wrapping the Aussie innings quickly.
Australia 1st innings (overnight 224-5): S Watson c Gambhir b Harbhajan 126, S Katich lbw b Zaheer 6, R Ponting run out 71, M Clarke c Dravid b Harbhajan 14, M Hussey lbw b Zaheer 17, M North b Zaheer 0, T Paine c Laxman b Zaheer 92, M Johnson c Dhoni b Zaheer 47, N Hauritz c Gambhir b Harbhajan 9, B Hilfenhaus not out 20, D Bollinger c Sharma b Ojha 0. Extras: (B-4, LB-9, NB-13) 26. Total: (all out in 151.4 overs) 428. Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-154, 3-172, 4-218, 5-222, 6-275, 7-357, 8-373, 9-427. Bowling: Zaheer 30-7-94-5, Sharma 11.4-1-71-0, Ojha 51.4-16-113-1, Harbhajan 49-12-114-3, Sehwag 9.2-1-23-0.
India 1st innings: G Gambhir lbw b Johnson 25, V Sehwag c Clarke b Johnson 59, R Dravid not out 21, I Sharma not out 0. Extras: (B-1, LB-4) 5. Total: (for two wickets in 21 overs) 110. Fall of wickets: 1-81, 2-106. Bowling: Hilfenhaus 9-0-39-0, Bollinger 4-0-22-0, Johnson 6-1-29-2, Hauritz 2-0-15-0.