Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle celebrates the wicket of Indian master batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
Nanjing Night Net

MELBOURNE _ Australia’s Peter Siddle was the man who killed Bambi yesterday as he bowled Sachin Tendulkar for 73 late on day 2 of the first Test at the MCG.

In reply to the home side’s 333, India reached 3-214 at stumps.

Tendulkar and fellow 38-year-old Rahul Dravid added 117 for the third wicket before Siddle struck in the final over of the day, blasting through Tendulkar’s defences.

A crowd of 52,858 had been waiting to see Tendulkar make history as the first player to score 100 international hundreds, having already made 51 in Tests and 48 in one-day internationals.

Tendulkar rarely looked troubled by the bowlers and hit eight fours and one six, a glorious uppercut off Siddle’s bowling over slips from the first ball after tea.

But the wicket of Tendulkar was a huge relief for Siddle in particular.

Dravid was bowled by Siddle for 65. However, the batsman was recalled after a video referral by the umpire showed it was a no-ball.

A furious Siddle immediately thumped a short ball into the weary batsman’s stomach.

Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin paid tribute to Siddle’s fighting qualities and said the Victorian had lifted in front of his home crowd at the MCG to give the home side the breakthrough they desperately needed.

“He did come through 5km/h quicker after that (no-ball),” Haddin said.

“He showed a bit of character coming back after what happened to get Tendulkar late in the day.

“That was a big, big blow for us to get him.”

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed 3-81 from 29 overs in Australia’s first innings, said the tourists were well placed in the match and Tendulkar’s near miss had not caused great angst within the team.

“It will eventually happen, so there’s no point in really bothering about it,” he said.

Ben Hilfenhaus had taken the new ball for Australia and struck in his fourth over when Gautam Gambhir was caught behind for three.

Virender Sehwag hit 67 before he edged a ball from James Pattinson onto his stumps.

Sehwag had been dropped on 11 by Mike Hussey at gully and on 58 by Haddin, both off Pattinson’s bowling.

Australia resumed on 6-277 and lost Haddin (27) and Siddle (41), both to left-arm quick Zaheer Khan (4-77).

Debutant opener Ed Cowan (68) and ex-skipper Ricky Ponting (62) made half-centuries on the first day’s play.

Cowan was off the field with a back injury but returned later in the day.

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