Symonds, Hogg lead Australian recovery

Updated: 04 January 2008 12:02 IST

Electing to bat, Australia were 376 for seven at stumps on the first day of the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.


Andrew Symonds posted his second Test hundred and led Australia out of a deep rut on Wednesday after young India seamer RP Singh ripped through the top order.

RP Singh took four wickets, including two in a 29-minute period when he and Harbhajan Singh combined to snare four wickets for 15 runs. Australia had slumped to 134 for six after winning the toss and opting to bat first in the second Test.

But all-rounder Symonds resurrected the innings with partnerships of 173 with Brad Hogg and 69 with Brett Lee. That lifted Australia to 376 for seven, keeping alive its bid for a record-equaling 16th consecutive win.

The seventh-wicket stand ended when Hogg, who had four first-class centuries but a Test average of 18, edged Anil Kumble to Rahul Dravid at slip for 79 to make the total 307-7.

Symonds, who notched his maiden Test hundred under similar circumstances against England in Melbourne 12 months ago, was 137 at stumps. Lee was unbeaten on 31.

Some contentious umpiring decisions helped change the momentum of the innings several times and frustrated an Indian lineup desperate to make amends for a 337-run loss in the first Test last week.

Symonds had two reprieves, while Ricky Ponting (55) had one before he was controversially out lbw to Harbhajan Singh in a dismissal that sparked the middle-order collapse.

Ponting and Mike Hussey combined in a 92-run stand to lift the total to 119 after RP Singh had removed openers Phil Jaques (0) and Matt Hayden (13).

The Australian skipper survived a confident appeal for caught behind down the legside before lunch but was given out in the 30th over by umpire Mark Benson despite edging the ball onto his pads.

A clearly upset Ponting was slow to leave the crease, but quickly had Hussey (41) and Michael Clarke (1) back in the pavilion with him as Australia lost three wickets for two runs to be 121-5.

Adam Gilchrist faced eight balls for seven runs before he gave the RP Singh-Sachin Tendulkar combination its third dismissal by edging the 22-year-old paceman to first slip.

Symonds survived a caught-behind appeal from Ishant Sharma on 30, when umpire Steve Bucknor was unmoved by a loud and confident shout from the 19-year-old paceman.

Symonds struck 17 boundaries and two sixes in a composed, 173-ball knock.

Many of the big contributors to India's 705-7 declared in the first innings here four years ago are still in the lineup and ready bounce back after two batting collapses in Melbourne last week.

After a hard day of graft, India's below-strength bowling attack will be aiming to finish off the Australian tailenders quickly and hoping their own batting lineup can bat for two days.

RP Singh, shouldering extra responsibility in Sydney after Zaheer Khan failed a fitness Test on a recurring heel injury, returned 4-108 from 21 overs.

Harbhajan Singh had 2-88 and Kumble took 1-82 from 20 overs apiece.

The lanky Sharma was impressive at stages as a late replacement for Khan but lost confidence and rhythm in the face of the Australian counterattack and finished with 0-65.

He also missed a catch at deep mid-on that would have removed Hogg when he was on 15 and could be sanctioned for his reaction when the umpire rejected his appeal against Symonds.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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