Sydney: A century by Matthew Hayden and an unbeaten 94 by Adam Gilchrist put Australia in the driver's seat on the opening day of the ICC Super Test against World XI being played in Sydney. Hayden provided the foundation for the Australian innings scoring 111 off 180 deliveries. After his dismissal, Gilchrist took up the mantle, scoring a quickfire 94 off just 109 balls. At stumps on the first day, Australia were 331 for 6 with Gilchrist (94) and Shane Warne (1) remaining unbeaten. For the World XI, Muttiah Muralitharan was the pick of the bowlers, picking up two wickets and a run rate of 3.40. Steven Harmison, Daniel Vettori and Andrew Flintoff contributed with a wicket each. Early breakthrough Earlier, Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first, but the hosts suffered an early setback. The World XI got a breakthrough in the very first over of the match when Justin Langer went for a duck to Steven Harmison. Skipper Ricky Ponting (46) put on a 73 run stand with Mathew Hayden after Justin Langer was sent to the pavilion. Ponting and Mathew Hayden then survived a fiery spell of swing bowling by Flintoff and Harmison, who gave away just 15 runs in his first 7 overs. Both the batsmen saw through the initial spell and revived the innings with a 73 run stand. Ponting fails to hold on Ponting specially looked like a man on mission and scoring 46 runs off 76 deliveries. Ponting looked to open up when he lofted Mutthian Muralitharan for a six and then hit a four in the next over but Flintoff broke the vital stand in his second spell. Ponting tried to guide a angling Flintoff delivery to the third man but a diving Jacques Kallis held a brilliant catch in the second slip. Harmison was brought back just before the lunch but Mathew Haden, who concentrated hard for his 28 off 76 balls and Michael Clarke saw through the last few overs before lunch. Wickets tumble Clarke pulled off a vital partnership with Hayden, contributing 39 runs off 72 deliveries. But Daniel Vettori then stepped up the attack for the World XI, and Virender Sehwag caught Clarke. Simon Katich then came on to the crease, but he was run out for a duck. Watson also failed to stick on at the crease, after Muttiah Muralitharan snared him leg before for 24. Teams: Australia: R Ponting (capt), ML Hayden, JL Langer, MJ Clarke, SM Katich, SR Watson, AC Gilchrist, SK Warne, B Lee, GD McGrath, SCG MacGill. ICC World XI: GC Smith (capt), V Sehwag, R Dravid, BC Lara, Inzamam-ul-Haq, JH Kallis, A Flintoff, MV Boucher, DL Vettori, SJ Harmison, M Muralitharan.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics : Cricket