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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is there enough time left for either side to win? First Test day 4

Australia 430 and 5/193 lead India 360 ( Zaheer Khan 57 no, Harbhajan Singh 54, R Dravid 51, M Johnson 4/70, S Watson 3/45) by 263 runs with 5 second innings wickets remaining; First Test day 4 at Bangalore.

250 runs from 86 overs in the day (which could have been 90 had a half-decent over rate been maintained) is not express Test cricket by today's standards. It suggests that both Australia and India will be content to settle for a draw. Australia has the upper hand and can decide whether to bat tomorrow morning and, if so, for how long.

India's last two wickets added 43 more runs which, just, kept them in the game. Australia lost Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting cheaply leaving Simon Katich (34/140b) to hang in and lead the team towards a respectable score. Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan bowled well while Harbhajan Singh had his moments and took two wickets. (Anil Kumble could not bowl until later because of an injury).

In the last overs Brad Haddin and Shane Watson took their team from a shaky 5/128 to 5/193 and a more substantial lead. Whether it is enough is in the hands of the Australian management. I suspect that they will bat on for a while.

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