Laxman’s 13th century put India in command against Australia

October 30th, 2008 - 2:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) V.V.S. Laxman scored yet another century against Australia, and Gautam Gambir is nine runs short of double hundred as India went to lunch at 393/3 on the third cricket Test at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here Thursday.Laxman was batting on 104 (266 min, 174 balls, 10x 4), the hundred his sixth against Australia, while Gambhir was on 191 (507 min, 362 balls, 1×6, 25×4), as the two played out the first session.

The stylish Hyderabadi, who has been a thorn in the Aussie flesh throughout his career, hit delectable boundaries in his knock. Laxman’s liking for the Aussie attack can be gauged by the fact that his top four Test scores have come against the World Champions, including the historic 281 at Eden Gardens.

Gambhir and Laxman carried from where they left Wednesday with the stingless Australian attack failing to get their act together on the flat Kotla track. They scored briskly in the morning session adding 97 runs and took their unbroken partnership to 236.

Australia had taken the new ball five overs before stumps Wednesday and if they expected to have an early breakthrough, it was not to be. The Australian fast bowlers had got a good purchase during their initial spell Wednesday, but the wicket looked a featherbed Thursday morning with Gambhir and Laxman at their best. The visitors were left doing the containing job for most of the period.

Laxman had made his intentions very clear when he came to the crease Wednesday scoring at a fast clip and continued in the same vein.

The Australian pacers did pepper Laxman with short deliveries, but most of them were ill directed and the rest were pulled by Laxman with his trademark lazy elegance. Laxman slowed down a bit while nearing his century and took 11 balls to cross 99. His century came with a glorious cover driven boundary off leg-spinner Cameron White.

Only time Laxman seemed in trouble was when he played a Lee bouncer awkwardly and the ball flew past between slip and gully, much to the annoyance of the out-of-form Aussie spearhead.

Gambhir too was in trouble as his tentative push off White went past touching Matthew Hayden’s outstretched hands at first slip. These were the only two anomalies in an otherwise commanding session for the hosts.

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