Australia takes 70 run first innings lead, makes cautious start

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Bangalore, Oct 12 (UNI) Australia gained a crucial 70-run first innings lead after India, which extended its fight back, making 360 before being dismissed 24 minutes before lunch on the fourth day of the first Test being played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

In their second innings, Australia made a cautious start and reached nine without loss in six overs at lunch. Mathew Hayden (3) and Simon Katich (5) were at the crease.

Zaheer Khan led the Indian fight back by scoring a fine half century.

Resuming at the overnight total of 313 for 8, chasing the Australian first innings total of 430, Zaheer Khan completed his second Test half century and remained unbeaten at 57 to help India shorten the lead to fewer than 100 runs. Kumble and Ishant Sharma did their bit in extending the fight back as the Indian tail lasted 85 minutes this morning.

Stuart Clark, who was not that effective against the Indians, got his first wicket bowling Ishant Sharma, while earlier, Watson took his third wicket trapping Anil Kumble leg before. Watson's 3 for 43 are his best Test figures for the well built all-rounder.

Earlier, Zaheer continued to resist the Australian pacers.

Despite being beaten many times, the speedster, promoted by Kumble ahead of his number, added a crucial 32 runs to his overnight total.

He had made75 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2004 where he added 100 runs for the 10th wicket with Sachin Tendulkar.

The Australians made a dubious distinction of conceding the highest number of extras of 52 runs which was the second highest contribution in the Indian innings. This included 23 byes, 23 leg byes and six no balls.

UNI MSP-RS AB PM1224

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