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Watson hits ton as Day 1 honours shared

By The Assam Tribune

MOHALI, Oct 1 (PTI): All-rounder Shane Watson struck an uncharacteristic yet effective hundred on a dodgy PCA stadium pitch before Indian pacer Zaheer Khan produced a deadly final spell to restrict Australia to 224 for five at stumps on the opening day of the first cricket Test here today.

Watson�s patient 101 came off 279 balls and included eight boundaries.

There was some drama as well when Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had a heated exchange with Zaheer after being run out and required the umpire� intervention.

Save for Zaheer (3/45), who got the ball to move both ways including generating a fair amount of reverse swing at the fag end of the day, the other Indian bowlers failed to make an impression on a difficult pitch where stroke-making wasn�t that easy.

Zaheer�s effort was all the more laudable as his new-ball partner Ishant Sharma broke down with a hamstring pain after bowling only 7.4 overs, including eight no-balls.

For Australia, Watson, who scored his second Test century, was the star of the day. He reached the milestone in 258 deliveries and 339 minutes. Giving him company was wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine (1).

The highlight of the Australian innings was a 141-run second-wicket partnership between Watson and skipper Ricky Ponting (71, 124 deliveries, 10x4) before Zaheer got India back in the match with his final spell.

Watson, who was dropped twice on 0 and 37 by Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni respectively, made full use of the two lives that he got. The bowlers to suffer were Zaheer and Pragyan Ojha.

Zaheer, who bowled a devastating final spell (4-2-3-2), could have got a five-for had Dhoni not dropped Tim Paine whom he had squared up with an away going delivery.

Scorecard

Australia 1st innings: Watson not out 101, Katich lbw b Zaheer 6, Ponting run out 71, Clarke c Dravid b Harbhajan 14, Hussey lbw b Zaheer 17, M North b Zaheer 0, T Paine not out 1. Extras: (LB-4, NB-10) 14. Total: (for five wickets in 90 overs) 224. Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-154, 3-172, 4-218, 5-222. Bowling: Zaheer 16-4-45-3, Sharma 7.4-1-49-0, Ojha 31-12-39-0, Harbhajan 29-6-69-1, Sehwag 6.2-0-18-0.

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Watson hits ton as Day 1 honours shared

MOHALI, Oct 1 (PTI): All-rounder Shane Watson struck an uncharacteristic yet effective hundred on a dodgy PCA stadium pitch before Indian pacer Zaheer Khan produced a deadly final spell to restrict Australia to 224 for five at stumps on the opening day of the first cricket Test here today.

Watson�s patient 101 came off 279 balls and included eight boundaries.

There was some drama as well when Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had a heated exchange with Zaheer after being run out and required the umpire� intervention.

Save for Zaheer (3/45), who got the ball to move both ways including generating a fair amount of reverse swing at the fag end of the day, the other Indian bowlers failed to make an impression on a difficult pitch where stroke-making wasn�t that easy.

Zaheer�s effort was all the more laudable as his new-ball partner Ishant Sharma broke down with a hamstring pain after bowling only 7.4 overs, including eight no-balls.

For Australia, Watson, who scored his second Test century, was the star of the day. He reached the milestone in 258 deliveries and 339 minutes. Giving him company was wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine (1).

The highlight of the Australian innings was a 141-run second-wicket partnership between Watson and skipper Ricky Ponting (71, 124 deliveries, 10x4) before Zaheer got India back in the match with his final spell.

Watson, who was dropped twice on 0 and 37 by Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni respectively, made full use of the two lives that he got. The bowlers to suffer were Zaheer and Pragyan Ojha.

Zaheer, who bowled a devastating final spell (4-2-3-2), could have got a five-for had Dhoni not dropped Tim Paine whom he had squared up with an away going delivery.

Scorecard

Australia 1st innings: Watson not out 101, Katich lbw b Zaheer 6, Ponting run out 71, Clarke c Dravid b Harbhajan 14, Hussey lbw b Zaheer 17, M North b Zaheer 0, T Paine not out 1. Extras: (LB-4, NB-10) 14. Total: (for five wickets in 90 overs) 224. Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-154, 3-172, 4-218, 5-222. Bowling: Zaheer 16-4-45-3, Sharma 7.4-1-49-0, Ojha 31-12-39-0, Harbhajan 29-6-69-1, Sehwag 6.2-0-18-0.