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ABC's Jim Maxwell
"Australia scrounged three for 138"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 December, 1999, 09:28 GMT
Slater stars at Melbourne

Nearly 50,000 spectators but only 48 overs of cricket


Australian opener Michael Slater scored an unbeaten 64 after rain threatened to provide a second successive Boxing Day washout in the traditional Melbourne Christmas Test.

Last year's Ashes match saw no play at all on the first day, and this year the start of the second Test against India was delayed until after lunch, with 49,082 spectators inside the MCG.



It's probably a 50-50 day but slightly in our favour in those conditions
Steve Waugh
Bad light stopped play with the home side 138 for three after being put in to bat by Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar on a difficult pitch.

Fast medium bowler Javagal Srinath had vindicated his captain's decision with two wickets in his first six overs, but his good work went to waste.

The first breakthrough should have come with the second ball of the innings, but Srinath had to wait until the second over to remove Greg Blewett.

Anil Kumble dropped a chance with the bowler's second delivery, before he enticed Blewett to play on with a miscued pull a few minutes later.

Four overs later Srinath was successful in an appeal for lbw against Justin Langer.


Slater: Resolute on a difficult pitch
The rest of the Indian attack failed to keep up this standard as Slater and Mark Waugh rebuilt the innings in a 95-run stand for the third wicket.

Slater dominated the partnership with 46 of the runs as he became the first batsman in 1999 to complete 1,000 Test match runs.

His innings was a 16th half-century in the 58th Test

Australia reached tea on 97 for two, but Mark Waugh was trapped leg before by Ajit Agarkar for 41 before the close.

The medium pacer had troubled the Australians with seam and swing and was rewarded for his persistance.

"I am happy with that," Australian skipper Steve Waugh said of the short day's work.

"It's probably a 50-50 day but slightly in our favour in those conditions. We will start again pretty much even."



We bowled too short.....It was a very disappointing end after all
Kapil Dev
Like England last year, India have refused to use the floodlights at Melbourne during the Test.

Steve Waugh believed their decision had robbed the public of end-of-day entertainment when the light closed in.

"If the technology is there we should make use of it. I can understand the Indian point of view - they haven't had much experience under light," said Waugh.

"I think the conditions are far better when the lights are switched on."


Mark Waugh fell to Agarkar's persistence
Indian coach Kapil Dev was angry that his bowlers had not driven home their early advantage.

"We didn't bowl well after the initial burst by Srinath," an angry Dev said.

"We bowled too short. There was plenty for the bowlers who were prepared to pitch it up. It was a very disappointing end after all.

"We did the same thing in the first Test. We talked about it. The real test comes when you are out there by yourself."

Scorecard

Australia First Innings:

G S Blewett b Srinath 2
M J Slater not out 64
J L Langer lbw b Srinath 8
M E Waugh lbw b Agarkar 41
S R Waugh not out 5

Extras (1b, 7lb, 1w, 9nb) 18

Total (3 wickets, 48 overs) 138

Fall: 1-4, 2-28, 3-123

To bat: R T Ponting, A C Gilchrist, S K Warne, B Lee, D W Fleming, G D McGrath

Bowling: Javagal Srinath 12-4-35-2 (4nb), Ajit Agarkar 12-5-23-1 (1w), Venkatesh Prasad 8-1-34-0 (1nb), Saurav Ganguly 2-0-10-0 (4nb), Anil Kumble 14-3-28-0.

India Team:

H H Kanitkar, S Ramesh, R Dravid, S R Tendulkar, S C Ganguly, V V S Laxman, M S K Prasad, A B Agarkar, J Srinath, A Kumble, B K V Prasad

Umpires: S J Davis and D R Shepherd

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See also:
24 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Warne eyes Aussie record
26 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Atherton becomes early victim
14 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Aussies romp to victory
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.