Hayden‚??s record-equalling ton shunts India‚??s Sydney aspirations
Jan 05: Australia now leads by 213 runs after trailing from 69 runs in the first innings
India 's aspirations of conquering Sydney Test were put to rest by Australian hurricane Matthew Hayden, after scoring Sir Don Bradman's record-equalling 29th Test hundred and gave Australia a hint of victory at the end of rain-interrupted fourth day of the second Test played at the SCG here on Saturday.
Brawny Hayden proved lone throne in India's victory prospects, as the left-handed opener scored, his consecutive second Test hundred after Melbourne, a stylish 123 to steer Australia to 282 for four at stumps in their second innings.
Hayden's partner Mike Hussey, whom also defied Indian bowling attack is also reaching close to his century after remaining unbeaten on 87 with all-rounder Andrew Symonds on 14 after the pair accepted bad light offer. Australia now 213 runs ahead after trailing by 69 runs in the first innings.
Australia will come out hard on Sunday and try to post decent total before going for the final assault. Hayden also admitted after the match that they would try and push for a result tomorrow with the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch starting to deteriorate.
Hayden had to take a runner after the southpaw injured his right thigh. He batted with a runner for most of his innings but his hitting power seemed not effected with that problem.
The suave batsman raced to his hundred off 160 balls and smashed a dozen boundaries in his 291-minute knock before he was held by Wasim Jaffer off Anil Kumble in the final session.
Kumble got rid of Michael Clarke for a duck when Rahul Dravid took a sharp catch at slip. Hussey got a let off when he was dropped by Yuvraj Singh on 41 on the last ball before lunch and made most of the opportunity by sailing past his half-century and stitching a 160-run partnership with Hayden.
Hussey joined Hayden early on after opener Phil Jaques departed for 42 and Ponting fell for one.
Jaques added 85 runs with Hayden for the opening wicket but threw his wicket away when he desperately played to Kumble and caught by Yuvraj in the deep. VVS Laxman caught skipper Ponting at silly point off the bowling of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The turbanator has dismissed the Aussie captain eight times in same number of Tests.
"We are having a chance that is great. The wicket is starting to spin so it's getting hard to score freely now," Hayden told mediapersons.
"We will try and win the test match and I think we are capable of doing it. There's no doubt about that," Hayden added.
Earlier, Australia started the day's proceedings in quest of scoring some quick runs so that they will push for the victory to equal their own world record of 16 consecutive test wins.
Australian hopes got a jolt when they lost two quick wickets before lunch and same number of wickets after tea while in between the play was disrupted three times because of rain. A draw is the most likely result with more showers forecast on Sunday and just one day remaining.
"We'll just see how it goes tomorrow. It depends on how both teams play," Saurav Ganguly said.
"It's still a good wicket to bat on. There is a bit of turn, but nothing dangerous.
"I don't know what rival skipper is going to think. It'll depend on how Aussies bat tomorrow morning. It'll be purely up to them," opined Ganguly.
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