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BBC World Service's Harsha Bhogle
"Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden batted with amazing freedom"
 real 14k

banner Sunday, 18 March, 2001, 06:24 GMT
Hayden's best lifts Australia
Matthew Hayden just makes his ground in Chennai
Hayden narrowly avoids being run out in Chennai
Day One, Third Test, Chennai
Australia 326-3 (close)

Click here for scorecard

Matthew Hayden maintained his prolific run by batting throughout the opening day of the deciding final Test against India as Australia took the early initiative to reach the close on 326 for three.

Hayden recorded his second hundred of the series and the best of his Test career as Australia made breezy progress in a positive attempt to put their stunning defeat in Calcutta behind them and win the series.

By the end of a hot day in Chennai, Hayden was undefeated on 147.

The tall Queensland left hander arrived in India with just one Test century to his name, but has prospered on the slow, turning wickets.

Zaheer Khan celebrates removing Michael Slater for four
Khan celebrates removing Slater

He began with 119 and 28 not out in the first Test and scored 97 and 67 in the second.

It was a powerful display of hitting from Hayden, who has so far gathered five sixes. His century came from 153 balls.

Australia batted positively from the start on a Chennai pitch that is expected to offer considerable assistance to the spinners as the match progresses.

The tourists shrugged off the early loss of the out-of-sorts Michael Slater to dominate the home attack.

Slater fell to the third ball of the day when left-armer Zaheer Khan, the only specialist seamer in the side, had him caught by Vangipurappu Laxman at second slip.

Attack

Justin Langer arrived to counter attack thrillingly, runs arriving in a flurry of boundaries.

His innings of 35 came at a run a ball and included hitting Harbhajan Singh for six over mid-wicket.

Singh had his revenge when Langer attempted to cut a delivery too close to him and succeded in only edging to Rahul Dravid. It ended a partnership of 63 in 11 overs.

Mark Waugh hits another boundary during his half century
Mark Waugh hits another boundary

Hayden survived a run out chance on 21 after debutant wicket-keeper Sameer Dighe - playing in place of an injured Nayan Mongia - failed to collect a throw with the batsman struggling to regain his crease.

Mark Waugh joined Hayden for a third wicket stand of 150 as Australia continued to force the pace.

It ended with Waugh holing out to debutant leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule. His 70 spanned 136 balls and contained a six and seven fours.

The pace dropped after tea as Australia consolidated their position. The tourists batted throughout the final session without losing a wicket to end the day in a strong position.

The fourth wicket stand was worth 109 by the close with Steve Waugh seven short of his half century.

Hayden scored less freely after the interval as he tired in the heat, but he remained to the close having garnered 12 fours to add to his handful of sixes from 249 deliveries.

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See also:

17 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
Aussies could be Warne out
16 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
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16 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
Supermen turn mortal
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