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Tendulkar ton puts India on top of Australia

Sachin Tendulkar improved his world record with his 40th test century as India took a marginal advantage over Australia after Thursday's opening day of the series-deciding fourth test.

Tendulkar's 109 from 188 balls was the fulcrum of India's 311-5 stumps score, which put the hosts in a good position to secure the result it needs to maintain or improve its current 1-0 series lead and take the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

He shared a 146-run partnership with V.V.S Laxman for the fourth wicket that steadied the innings after the top order lost three quick wickets shortly before lunch.

Tendulkar, who holds the world run-scoring record with 12,261, played the Australian attack comfortably until he neared his first century of the series.

The Australians missed two chances to remove the right-hander when Mitchell Johnson dropped him on 85 and Brett Lee spilled a tough chance on 96. Both chances came when Tendulkar tried to slog debutant offspinner Jason Krejza over mid-off.

Tendulkar then spent 12 balls on 99 before cutting Krejza for four to bring up his 10th hundred against Australia. He reached the milestone from 166 deliveries, with 12 fours, and celebrated by raising his bat to the crowd and hugging Sourav Ganguly. Australian captain Ricky Ponting is second on the list of test century-makers with 36.

After winning the toss at the new Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium, India began strongly as opener Virender Sehwag blasted his way to an aggressive 66 from 69 deliveries, including nine fours and a six.

Sehwag and Murali Vijay _ standing in for the suspended Gautam Gambhir _ smashed 31 off the opening four overs to kick start a 98-run stand which ended when Shane Watson dug in a short ball and got the edge of Vijay's bat through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

It prompted a mini-collapse, as Krejza _ who concede 32 runs from his opening three overs _ claimed his first test wicket in the next over, dismissing the out-of-form Rahul Dravid for a duck, caught at bat-pad.

Sehwag raced to his 16th test half-century and seemed set for a big score before playing-on to Krejza shortly before lunch.

Laxman, playing his 100th test, provided useful support for Tendulkar and brought up his 37th test half-century on the way to a 114-ball knock of 64.

He became Krejza's third victim when he tried to give himself room to cut, was surprised by the spin and left after Haddin juggled the edge.

Ganguly, who is retiring at the end of the game, and Tendulkar added 41 for the fifth wicket before Tendulkar was lbw to Johnson as Australia took the second new ball.

At stumps, Ganguly was unbeaten on 27 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was 4 not out.

Krejza had a mixed opening day, taking three prized scalps for 138 in 28 overs at a run-rate of just under five.

Watson and Johnson were the only other wicket-takers on another tough day for Australia’s ineffective attack.

Source : Yahoo Sports

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