Sub continent teams gain an upper hand in parallel test matches

As discussed in the last post, both the Boxing day test matches are moving along hand in hand with Sri Lanka in Durban and Australia in Melbourne are scoring in similar fashion against South Africa and India respectively. But on Day 2 there is a turn around in the story.

Day 2 here at MCG brought good moments for India. Australia were bowled out today at 333 with Zaheer adding two more to his yesterday's tally ending up with 4 wickets haul. Yadav and Ashwin shared 3 each. A little bit of "down the order" resistance came from Siddle (41), Pattinson (18) and Hilfenhaus (19). If Australia still had a bowling line up consisting of Warne, Mcgrath, Gillespie; it would have been a competitive score. But with this young inexperienced line up against the best batting line up; this score looks a bit low.

India got a bad start with Gambhir departing early, clinched by Hilfenhaus. This was followed by "brilliance" of batting. India ended the day with 214 for 3. Sehwag played an uncharacteristic innings of 67 runs from 83 balls. Now that is quick in the "test" standards, but slow for the "Sehwag" standards. Dravid is still unbeaten on 65 whereas Sachin was removed in the last over of the day. He scored 73 runs from 98 balls. It seemed he was comfortable enough to reach his 100th International century this time. But he failed once again. Still his valuable 73 run innings can't be written off. Ishant entered in as "night watchman" and he is still on the crease.

Australia needs some early wickets in the 1st session of Day 3 or the match may slip off their hands. India can capitalise and even a 100 runs lead could be good enough to sneak in some pressure on the home team.

Time to move on the Kingsmead, Durban. Sri Lanka added few more runs to the overnight score to reach 338. Samaraweera went ahead to score another brilliant ton. He shared a small partnership with Herath in the end to keep the scoreboard ticking. M de Lange was exceptional with a bowling figures of 7 wickets off 81 runs.

The home team was expected to reply solidly but this time things are going towards the Lankan way! Smith departed at an individual score of 15 and Rudolph at 7. Kallis was sent back to pavilion on a duck. 3 early wickets have landed the home team in trouble. But Amla and de Villers are trying to anchor the innings towards stability and they have crossed 100 runs mark for loss of 3 wickets.

So overall Melbourne and Kingsmead so far has seen upper hand for the Indian sub continent teams. Not to forget; Australia and South Africa are capable enough to turn the tables on the opposition. An exciting day 3 waits to reveal lot more cricketing enthrallment and this applies to both the test matches.

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