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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tail saves Australia from follow-on in practise game

When the umpire lifted the finger for the fifth time in the day, it seemed all over for Australia. The Yuvraj Singh led Board President's XI was just a wicket away from shaming a full-strength Australian team into following on. Alas! That was not to be.

Hussey finally found support - at the fag end of the tail. Batsman no.XI, Stuart Clark gave Hussey ample company, toiling for over a hundred balls for a dogged 44. Hussey himself faced 302 balls for his score of 126. The duo added 96 runs for the last wicket ensuring safe passage for Australia, and but for a mircale session or two, the match looks headed for a draw.

What was worth noting were the contrasting rates at which the two teams piled up their runs. While the Indians scored at an Australian pace of 4.18, the tourists struggled with a run rate of just over 2. It is these run-rates which may become crucial tomorrow.

In their second essay, the Board's XI have already notched up 110 for the loss of Badrinath and Chopra. The two men at the crease, Jaffer and Yuvraj are both capable of scoring quickly - they are already 251 runs ahead and if they can add a quick 70 or 80 in the morning session and declare a couple of overs before lunch, things can get really interesting at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal.

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