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26-Dec-2011 08:06:00 GMT
Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 1st day

Cowan, Yadav Shine in Opening Boxing Day Test

Melbourne: Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle safely negotiated the new ball as they take Australia to 277/6 at stumps after some fine bowling by India on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

Haddin (21*) and Siddle (34*) added crucial 63 runs for the seventh wicket as India once again lost the plot to run through the tail towards the closing stages of the play despite having a good control of the proceedings on Day 1 of the first Test of the four-match Test series.

Earlier, Zaheer Khan unleashed fire as he got rid of Australian skipper Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey in successive balls to push Australia on backfoot in the final session of the first day of the opening Test.

Zaheer's fine show was ably supported by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up his first wicket in Australia, as he got rid of well-settled debutant opener Ed Cowan.

Cowan played a patient knock of 68 runs, while facing 177 balls, that included seven boundaries. Australia were tottering at 6 for 214 after they lost three quick wickets in a span of just nine runs.

Zaheer first scalped Aussie skipper Clarke who played the ball on to the stumps and then came out with a fine short-pitch delivery which appeared to take the outside edge of Hussey before being safely landed in Indian skipper MS Dhoni's gloves.

Hussey, who was not pleased with the on-field umpire's decision, went for duck while Clarke scored 31 with the help of five fours.

Umesh Yadav, who picked up his third wicket, once again came to the fore just before tea as he dismissed former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to give India much-needed breakthrough.

Australia had a fairly good post-lunch session as they added 102 runs to reach 170/3 at tea after losing just one wicket in the form of Ponting.

Ponting's struggle to score a century in the last two years continued as he gave an easy catch to VVS Laxman at slips after failing to negotiate Yadav's speedy delivery.

Ricky Ponting and opener Ed Cowan hit fine fifties and added crucial 100 runs for the third wicket to give Australia solid platform against India on the first day of the opening Test.

Ponting, who scored a fighting fifty in 67 balls, couldn't continue further as he got out on 62 after facing 94 balls. Ponting smashed six boundaries during his gritty knock.

Debutant Cowan, who struggled in the first session, opened his arms in the second session as he scored his maiden Test fifty with the help of six fours in 120 balls.

Both Ponting and Cowan batted with ease in the post-lunch session as they raced Australia to 100-run mark in just 140 balls after Australia managed to score their first 50 runs in 99 balls.

Ponting and Cowan complimented each other well as they changed the strikes frequently to unsettle Indian bowlers and stitched a crucial partnership of 113 runs for the third wicket after losing two quick wickets in the first session.

Earlier, steady drizzle delayed the start of the post-lunch session on the first day of the opening Test of the four-match Test series between India and Australia after 23.5 overs were bowled by the visitors in the first session.

Australia were 68/2 when umpires decided to take lunch prior to the scheduled break after it started drizzling.

Paceman Umesh Yadav removed opener David Warner (37) and Shaun Marsh (0) within a space of seven deliveries in the first session which was curtailed by two minutes due to drizzle.

Brief scores
6 for 277 (Cowan 68, Ponting 62, Yadav 3-96)

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