Tendulkar misses record as India save first cricket Test

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

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

Tendulkar was caught in the covers off debutant spinner Cameron White just 15 short of surpassing retired West Indian Brian Lara's tally of 11,953 runs as Test cricket's leading run-getter.

Even as he neared the record, the 35-year-old vehemently protested to the umpires about allowing play to continue in fading light and walked away in disgust after becoming White's first Test victim.

Umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf of Pakistan suspended play 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 opens 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 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, which was marked by frequent interruptions for poor light before the match was called off with 10 overs remaining.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting conceded India did well to save the game, but was satisfied the way his team played the Test.

"It is always difficult to start a series in India, so I am happy the way we played this one," said Ponting, who scored his first century on Indian soil in the game.

"I thought we had a good chance to force a win today but full credit to India who batted very well.

"This was a good wicket to play on because there was some bounce till the end. I think we need to improve in a few areas and now have two days to refresh ourselves for Mohali."

Indian captain Anil Kumble said his team may have won the Test if he had won the toss.

"The toss definitely played a crucial role because Australia had the best of batting conditions on the first day," said Kumble.

"I think it was fantastic on our part to come back so well after that. We had a great chance yesterday to keep the Aussies down but I have no complaints.

"Our fast bowlers were great and that gives me hope for the three Tests to follow."

Indian left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who took five wickets in the first innings and top-scored with 57 batting at number nine, was named the man of the match.

Australia, who resumed at the overnight score of 193-5, declared their second innings at 228-6 half-an-hour after the start to give their bowlers a minimum of 83 overs to dismiss India.

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