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Wednesday, 29 December, 1999, 10:49 GMT
India have mountain to climb

Adam Gilchrist reaches his half-century

Australia 405 and 208-5 dec, India 238 and 40-1

Australia have set India an improbable 376 runs to win the second Test after a rain-soaked fourth day in Melbourne.

The home side declared on 208 for five as Adam Gilchrist belted out 55 and Mark Waugh fired well for 51 at the MCG.

But the chase started badly for India, who lost opener Venkatsai Laxman for a single in the few remaining overs after tea.

Javagal Srinath Javagal Srinath makes an unsuccessful appeal
The tourists lost the first Test by 285 runs, bowled out for 110 after being set a total of 396 to win. Should they lose this match also they will hand the home side an unbeatable lead of 2-0 in the three Test series.

Australia dismissed the tourists in an over and one ball on a fourth morning that was interrupted twice for rain.

In reply, Michael Slater (3) and Justin Langer (9) lost their wickets cheaply and gave the tourists hope as Australia struggled to 32 for two.

But then Gilchrist came to the crease and rattled off his second half century of the match, despite some intelligent bowling from seamer Ajit Agarkar.

He shared a 59-run partnership with Greg Blewett, who scored 31.

Extravagant hook

Mark Waugh demonstrated that his appalling run of form - scoring 5, 0, 0, 5 and 8 in his last five innings - was only temporary, with a gritty half century in what was his 99th Test appearance.

He and twin Steve Waugh added 58 runs for the fifth wicket, before Agarkar nabbed the Australian captain lbw for 32.

Ricky Ponting had time to add a quickfire 21 before the home side declared and went in hunt of a second win.

Coming into bat, Laxman tried an extravagant hook off Damien Fleming with the catch taken by Glenn McGrath.

Sadagopan Ramesh added an unbeaten 26 while Rahul Dravid survived on 10 as the Indians batted out the last 21 overs of the day.


Overnight: Australia 405 (Slater 91, Gilchrist 78, Ponting 67)

India 235-9 (Tendulkar 116, Lee 5-47)

India First Innings Cont:
A Kumble not out 28
B K V Prasad c M Waugh b McGrath 10
Extras (8lb, 9nb) 17
Total (all out, 76.1 overs) 238
Fall: 1-11, 2-11, 3-31, 4-108, 5-138, 6-167, 7-167, 8-169, 9-212

Australia Second Innings:
M J Slater lbw b Agarkar 3
G S Blewett c Ganguly b Kumble 31
J L Langer c M Prasad b Agarkar 9
+A C Gilchrist c Srinath b Kumble 55
M E Waugh not out 51
*S R Waugh lbw b Agarkar 32
R T Ponting not out 21
Extras (2lb, 1w, 3nb) 6
Total (5 wickets, 59 overs, declared) 208
Fall: 1-5, 2-32, 3-91, 4-109, 5-167

India Second Innings:
V V S Laxman c McGrath b Fleming 1
S Ramesh not out 26
R Dravid not out 10
Extras (1lb, 2nb) 3
Total (1 wicket, 21 overs) 40

Fall: 1-5

To Bat: *S R Tendulkar, S C Ganguly, H H Kanitkar, +M S K Prasad, A B Agarkar, J Srinath, A Kumble, B K V Prasad

India require 376 runs to win

Umpires: S J Davis and D R Shepherd (Eng

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See also:
28 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Tendulkar century as new boy stars
27 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Melbourne rain rescues India
26 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Slater stars at Melbourne
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.