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Casual Ganguly plays into Australia's hands before second Test


NEW DELHI, March 7 (AFP) - Indian captain Sourav Ganguly failed to rattle Australia ahead of the second Test in Calcutta after throwing away his wicket in a tour match here on Wednesday.

Ganguly, leading the Indian board president's team against the tourists to gain much-needed match practice, made 40 before deciding he had seen enough of the Australian bowling.

The left-hander stepped out to loft off-spinner Mark Waugh out of the tiny Ferozeshah Kotla ground, missed the line and found his off-stump uprooted.

The reckless stroke drew jeers from a section of the 4,000-strong crowd, who wanted the Indian captain to play a long innings after he made just nine runs in the first Test in Bombay last week.

It was the perfect scenario for the Australians who will confront Ganguly again on his home turf when the second Test starts at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta on Sunday.

Steve Waugh's men, hoping to win Australia's first series on Indian soil in 31 years, lead 1-0 in the three-match rubber after a 10-wicket cakewalk at Bombay in three days.

Young left-hander Dinesh Mongia was the only batsman in the president's team to shine, making 66 before the hosts were shot out for 221 on the second day of the three-day match.

Australia, who made 451 in the first innings, were 53-1 in their second knock at stumps, going into the final day's play on Thursday with an overall lead of 283.

Australia did not enforce the follow-on, partly to deny Ganguly a second chance, but also to give off-form opener Michael Slater an opportunity to get among the runs.

Slater responded with an unbeaten 24 after his partner Matthew Hayden was unlucky to be given caught behind off leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani for 26.

Ganguly brushed aside his poor stroke, saying he felt confident while batting in the middle.

"It's just one of those things that I missed that shot," he said. "But the important thing is that I felt confident out there."

Earlier, the Australians added 38 runs to their overnight score of 413-8 before being all out for 451 early on the second day.

Off spinner Sharandeep Singh completed a five-wicket haul by removing last man Colin Miller, while Hirwani dismissed Michael Kasprowicz to finish with three for 120.







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