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January 17, 2008
While the catching agreement has been scrapped, Phil Jaques left no room for umpiring or television intervention when Kumble clipped to him in front of square. As the ball reached Jaques, who dived forward and captured it on the half-volley, there was a collective deep breath and flashbacks to the SCG. Before anyone's integrity could be questioned, Jaques waved his hand to say it had not carried. The gesture continued the lift in spirit that was started when the Australians apologised for appealing too strongly on the first day.
It must be demoralising to be pulverised by Adam Gilchrist, but RP Singh's comeback ball was one for the times. Having been smashed for two successive fours, he returned with the ball of the day - it lifted off a good length and brushed the edge. After two balls outside off - one full and the other short - this was a real bolt from the blue. RP soon proved it was no fluke, running through the lower order with swing, bounce and pace.
It was probably one of Anil Kumble's longest appeals, but it was well worth the shout and allowed him to reach 600 wickets. He let rip a fastish legbreak outside off, which Andrew Symonds tried to cut, but the umpire Asad Rauf took a while to make up his mind about the edge. The deflection off Dhoni's glove might have caused the confusion - Rahul Dravid accepted the catch running in from slip - but he finally raised his finger at 4.49pm and Kumble let out a mighty whoop.
More lessons learned
The Sydney Test had a big impact on Michael Clarke, who was criticised for not walking when he edged Kumble to slip and then claimed what became a contentious take on a tense final day. He called Kumble before this match to improve the goodwill and when he nicked a fine outswinger from Ishant Sharma, there was no standing still. There was a loud noise and Clarke turned towards the pavilion before Billy Bowden's crooked finger passed his waist.
Ishant almost does a Harbhajan
With his third delivery of the match, Ishant picked up his first wicket of the series. Landing the ball on a perfect length, he drew Ricky Ponting forward, moved it away and produced the edge. The extra bounce was critical as the ball flew off the bat and Dravid pouched a superb catch at third slip. Ishant couldn't contain himself and he was ecstatic when running towards the dressing-room and the only thing missing was a Harbhajan-style roll. He was denied Symonds' wicket in Sydney but made up for it here, quickly adding Clarke to his tally.
Same old Symonds
Symonds' luck continued when Sachin Tendulkar missed a catch that should have been taken. Symonds, who was famously reprieved in Sydney before making a big century, was on 3 and he quickly punished the sloppiness, reaching 66 off 70 balls. More fortune came on 14 when he jammed down on a yorker and the ball brushed his leg before heading for the stumps. Somehow it missed them.
Down on debut
The locals wished Chris Rogers well in his Test debut, clapping loudly for his first defensive shot and increasing the volume for his opening scoring stroke, a crisp four through cover. However, his innings was brief and was judged lbw - the ball may have shaved the outside of leg stump - after moving across the crease to glance Irfan Pathan. The decision provided a disappointing end to a lifelong dream, but one of the benefits of Australia's below-par batting is he will get another chance for a significant score over the next couple of days.
Wayward and wasteful
Shaun Tait can't complain about being short of bowling after his over to conclude the second day. He delivered ten balls and a false start in a collection that included two no-balls and some urgency to get in another one at the other end before stumps. Tait cut his run for attempt No. 9 in a bid to beat the clock, managing to stay behind the crease but producing his second wide of the over. Next ball he lost his run-up, forcing the batsman to pull away, and time was finally called with an Irfan Pathan leave.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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