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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Melbourne Test: Australia 337/9 at close on Day 1

MELBOURNE, December 26: Electing to bat, Australia were 337 for nine at stumps on the first day of the opening Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Anil Kumble took five wickets as Australia collapsed after a good start on the first day.
Stuart Clark (21) and Mitchell Johnson (10) were the unbeaten batsmen when stumps were drawn for the day. Scorecard Earlier, India produced a flutter in the Australian batting line-up but Matthew Hayden rode over the little turbulence to take his team to 213 for three at tea on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test. The burly left-hander smashed the 28th century of his Test career after Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan brought India back into the game with three wickets in the first hour after lunch.
Hayden was batting on 121 at the break, having been out there for 236 minutes facing 168 balls, cracking nine fours along the way. Michael Clarke (14) was his partner at the other end as the two tried to lift the hosts out of a tricky situation with Phil Jacques (66), captain Ricky Ponting (4) and Michael Hussey (2) were snapped inside six overs. There was no hint of any upheaval as Hayden and Jacques took their opening stand to 135 when Kumble struck in his fourth over, the 34th of the innings.
Jacques was beaten by a well-concealed googly which drew him forward and then spun across the face of his bat for keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to complete the stumping. Jacques made his runs in 142 minutes during which he faced 108 balls and hit eight fours. Zaheer drew the loudest cheer from his mates at the other end when he bowled a perfect length at an angle to fool Ricky Ponting to play the wrong line.
Kumble built on his success with another wicket in the next over when Mike Hussey (2) was beaten by another googly and hit on his backpad. Umpire Mark Benson had no hesitation in ruling him out. Hayden, meanwhile, kept getting his runs at a fair clip and completed his century with an off-drive off RP Singh which beat Harbhajan Singh at mid-off. The burly left-hander took only 126 balls to reach his century which is his first in the present calendar year.
One of the two, either Jacques or Hayden, have scored a century in the three Tests they have batted so far in the Australian summer this year. Jacques scored hundreds in both the Tests against Sri Lanka earlier this year and now it is Hayden's turn.

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