India pile up 469 runs, make early inroads (Tea Report)

October 18th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Oct 18 (IANS) Sourav Ganguly stroked his 16th Test century and Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored a blistering 92 as India piled up 469 in the first innings against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here Saturday.India then struck early with Zaheer Khan rattling the stumps of Matthew Hayden for a duck, leaving Australia at 13 for one at tea with captain Ricky Ponting (5) and Simon Katich (8) at the crease.

Zaheer gave India the perfect start when he dismissed Hayden for the seventh time in his career in the third ball of the first over. This is the second time that Zaheer has bagged Hayden’s wicket in this series, having got him earlier for another duck in the first innings of the first Test in Bangalore.

Earlier, overnight batsman Ganguly took his time and patiently reached his second century against Australia.

Night watchman Ishant Sharma (9) spooned a catch to Simon Katich at short leg off Peter Siddle and skipper Dhoni arrived at the crease, showing positive intent right from the start.

Ganguly took a backseat and rotated the strike as Dhoni took the Australian attack apart, hitting the bowlers all over the park.

Brett Lee and Peter Siddle tested Dhoni with short deliveries, bowling round the wicket aimed at his body but the India captain was unnerved. He took a few blows on the body but courageously played attacking cricket.

Dhoni hit four sixes, pulling one such short delivery from Siddle out of the mid wicket fence to reach his 50 in just 63 balls.

Ganguly and Dhoni added 109 for the seventh wicket before the former got out immediately after scoring his century trying to accelerate the run rate.

Dhoni then launched a ferocious attack, hitting Siddle for another six while Cameron White took some pounding, including two biggies and a straight boundary that went past the bowler and umpire like a bullet.

But while shielding his partners, Dhoni ran out Zaheer Khan trying to steal a quick single before being given out lbw to debutant Siddle, who picked up three wickets.

Dhoni’s 124-ball knock also included eight boundaries.

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