Sachin misses record; Test drawn

Bangalore, October 13:

Sachin Tendulkar scored a match-saving 49 to help India avert defeat in the first Test against Australia, but himself fell short of a world record.

India, set a target of 299 runs in 83 overs, finished with 177-4 before bad light forced the match to be abandoned as a draw after tea on the fifth day.

Tendulkar was caught in the covers off Cameron White just 15 runs short of surpassing retired West Indian Brian Lara’s record of 11,953 runs.

Even as he neared the record, Tendulkar protested to the umpires about allowing play to continue in fading light and walked away in disgust after becoming White’s first Test victim.

The play was suspended six overs after Tendulkar’s dismissal, only to return 40 minutes later when the light improved marginally.

Tendulkar ended the game with a career tally of 11,939 runs and is expected to overtake Lara when the second of four Tests begins in Mohali on Friday.

Tendulkar, who walked in to bat with India struggling at 24-2 before lunch, put on 53 for the third wicket with Gautam Gambhir (29) and 61 for the fourth with Venkatsai Laxman. Some 15,000 home fans cheered every run by the 151-Test veteran, who defied the Australians for three hours to take India to safety.

Laxman (42 not out) and Sourav Ganguly (26 not out) saw out the remaining session.

Australia, who resumed at 193-5, declared their innings at 228-6 to give their bowlers a minimum of 83 overs to dismiss India. Shane Watson had made 41 when he was bowled by seamer Ishant Sharma, who claimed three of the six Australian wickets to fall. Wicket-keeper Brad Haddin hit an unbeaten 35, while White was on 18 when skipper Ricky Ponting declared. India lost opener Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid as they slipped to 24-2 by the ninth over.