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Australia in control against India in first Test

First Test, Mohali (day two, close)
India 110-2 v Australia 428
Match scorecard


Tim Paine
Paine fell just short of his maiden Test century

Australia racked up an imposing first-innings total of 428 and then took two wickets just as India were gaining momentum on day two of the first Test.

Tim Paine scored 92 before falling to Zaheer Khan (5-94) as the tourists extended their innings that was built on Shane Watson's century on Friday.

Opener Virender Sehwag gave India hope, when he raced to a 39-ball half-ton.

But Mitchell Johnson dismissed Sehwag (59) and also removed Gautam Gambhir (25) as India reached 110-2.

Australia started day two on 224-5 and Watson reached a career-best 126 before being caught at short leg by Gambhir from the bowling of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Having made that breakthrough, however, India came up against another obdurate batsman in Paine.

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The wicketkeeper, playing only his third Test, smashed 12 boundaries in his 196-ball stint that featured crucial stands with Johnson (47) and tail-ender Ben Hilfenhaus (20 not out).

Paine fell just short of his maiden Test ton when Zaheer had the Tasmanian caught by VVS Laxman with the new ball.

Zaheer also denied Johnson, who fired two sixes, his fifth Test half-century in his impressive five-wicket haul, while Doug Bollinger holed out to Pragyan Ojha to bring the innings to an end.

Gambhir went leg before to Johnson before stopping Sehwag's gung-ho effort, which saw him equal Gambhir and West Indies legend Viv Richards' record of hitting fifties in 11 consecutive Tests.

Sehwag had brazenly smashed 10 fours off 54 balls before he perished cheaply attempting to work a short Johnson (2-29) delivery to leg side - succeeding only in lobbing it into the hands of Michael Clarke in the covers.

Rahul Dravid and Ishant Sharma survived the closing minutes without further loss.

"We might have lost Sehwag at the top, but there is still a lot of batting to come," said Harbhajan.

"Our focus will be to get past their total and look for some reverse-swing and spin in the last two days of the match."

Harbhajan, meanwhile, played down an apparent verbal altercation on the first day between Zaheer and Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

"Zaheer told me that he was telling Laxman that he runs like Usain Bolt," he explained. "Ponting thought Zaheer was talking to him and came back to enquire."



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see also
Watson hits century against India
01 Oct 10 |  Cricket
Watson hits two centuries in draw
27 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Yuvraj dropped from India squad
20 Sep 10 |  India
Australia call for teen Hazlewood
02 Sep 10 |  Australia
Australia in India 2010
24 Oct 10 |  Cricket


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