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Monday, October 4, 2010

Australia on top after fluctuating day

India 405 and 55 for 4 (Tendulkar 10*, Zaheer 5*, Hilfenhaus 3-22) need another 161 runs to beat Australia 428 and 192 (Watson 56, Ishant 3-34, Zaheer 3-43)

There is one certainty at the end of the fourth day in Mohali: there will be a winner. The hard part is predicting who. That alone was a good result after a day that began with a draw as the short-priced favourite. But fine bowling from Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan and the Indian spinners set up a gettable chase of 216, before Ben Hilfenhaus bowled Australia to a winnable position of their own late in the day.

It left the Test finely balanced; India require 161 runs with Sachin Tendulkar at the crease on 10, and the night-watchman Zaheer on 5. Australia need six wickets, but they know that VVS Laxman, who batted at No. 10 in the first innings, would again be hampered by his bad back when he eventually comes to the crease. Much will depend on Tendulkar and MS Dhoni.

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