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Cricket | International

Mahendra Singh Dhoni © Gallo Images

Dhoni's double ton puts India in charge

An unbeaten double century by Mahendra Singh Dhoni propelled the hosts to 515 for eight - a lead of 135 - on the third day of the first test against Australia in Chennai on Sunday.

India's captain was in brutal form, facing only 231 balls and hitting 21 fours and five sixes in his 206 not out, his first-ever test double-ton.

He will resume on day four together with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out). The pair put on an unbeaten 109 for the ninth wicket in just over 25 overs.

The hosts resumed the day on 182 for three, with Sachin Tendulkar (71 not out) nearing his first century in more than two years since the 146 he made against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011.

But it was not to be, when - having added 10 runs to his overnight score - Nathan Lyon found the rough outside the Little Master's off stump, the ball spun sharply through the gate and disturbed the timber.

Fortunes changed as Dhoni joined Virat Kohli, and the pair took the attack to the visitors, especially trying to unsettle the off-spinner, with the captain hitting him for four fours in the hour before the interval.

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An unbeaten 67 runs in fewer than 16 overs between the pair moved India along to 263 for four at lunch.

Australia picked up the wicket of Virat Kohli soon after the resumption, but not before the man from Bangalore had reached his fourth test century.

However, only seven runs later, Nathan Lyon tossed one up and Kohli tried to go over mid-on, but could only watch as Mitchell Starc timed his jump superbly to take a brilliant overhead catch.

This brought to an end a 128-run stand between Kohli and his captain for the fifth wicket.

Dhoni carried on unperturbed, joined by Ravindra Jadeja (16), but the latter fell shortly before the tea break, leaving a James Pattinson delivery not too wide of his wicket, and the ball hit the top of his off stump.

Australia snared Ravichandran Ashwin (three) and Harbhajan Singh (11) just after tea, but it was The Dhoni Show for the remainder of the day as India added 144 runs in the final session.

Report Day 1
Report Day 2

INDIA: V Sehwag, M Vijay, CA Pujara, SR Tendulkar, V Kohli, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, B Kumar, I Sharma

AUSTRALIA: DA Warner, EJM Cowan, PJ Hughes, SR Watson, MJ Clarke (capt), MS Wade (wk), MC Henriques, PM Siddle, MA Starc, JL Pattinson, NM Lyon


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