Australians faced a huge embarrassment this morning at Hyderabad when they slipped to 218 for 9 from 191 for 4. The stage was set for the Board team to wrap up the Australian innings and set the match up. But they were in for a shock when Michael Hussey along with last man Stuart Clark batted for more than a couple of hours, to be precise for 40.1 overs to frustrate the homeside. The Board’s team is still ahead in the game with a good looking total of 110 for 2 to take their lead to 251.
Just the one day’s play is left in this four day match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad and the match most probably could end as a draw. The Board’s team may be looking to stretch their lead to 300-320 and then see if the two spinners – Piyush Chawla and Pragyan Ojha can take quick wickets on a pitch that is taking sharp turn. Earlier in the day, the Aussies lost wickets in a hurry when play started Ojha and Chawla got the wickets of the likes of Haddin, Lee and others. The only person standing in their way was Michael Hussey, who remained unconquered on 126 (from 302 balls with 14 fours and a six). Hussey’s partner, the tall Stuart Clark helped himself to 44 while surviving for 107 balls. Clark struck 4 fours and two sixes and his partnership with Hussey was 96! Piyush Chawla did well for his 40-7-89-5 and so did left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha with his 34-10-72-3 on his home ground.
In their second essay, the Board’s team was pegged back by the early dismissals of Akash Chopra (who was lbw to Stuart Clark) and Badrinath, who failed to justify his inclusion in the test team with another poor score. The hosts could recover though nicely and at stumps got to 110 for 2 in 35 overs with opener Wasim Jaffer on 46 from 95 with 5 fours and Skipper Yuvraj Singh gaining some confidence in his 37 (which came in 69 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes).