| Mike Hussey during his unbeaten 87 |
Sydney: Matthew Hayden continued to be a thorn in Indias flesh as the towering openers 29th century laid the platform for Australia to push for a record-equalling 16th Test win in the second match Saturday.
Hayden (123) once again feasted on the visitors attack as he stitched a 160-run stand with Mike Hussey (87 not out) after the hosts looked wobbly losing two quick wickets just before lunch on the penultimate day which was extended because of rain interruptions.
Hussey and Andrew Symonds (14) were at the crease when play was called off due to bad light with Australia on 282 for four in their second innings, having taken a lead of 213 runs.
Australia would now be keen to set India a competitive target on a deteriorating fifth day SCG track, hoping to carve out their 16th Test win on the trot that would put them in the same bracket with the side that Steve Waugh led.
Hussey, however, has reasons to feel grateful to umpire Mark Benson, who ruled him not out even after he had edged R.P. Singh to the wicketkeeper, five runs shy of his fifty.
Anil Kumble injected some life into the match by removing Hayden and Michael Clarke (zero) with successive balls and rapping Symonds on his pads with the hattrick delivery. Symonds, however, had put a long stride forward and Steve Bucknor turned down the vociferous appeal. Earlier after Australia got off to a decent start, Kumble earned the first breakthrough when Phil Jaques (42) swept into the hands of Yuvraj Singh at deep square leg.
Five runs later, Harbhajan Singh proved Ricky Ponting was indeed his bunny when he had him caught at silly point by V.V.S. Laxman.
Harbhajan, in the eye of a storm for allegedly abusing Symonds on Friday, could not conceal his joy and ran towards the pavilion with his right hand raised in triumph.
As he neared the stands, Harbhajan went on a flip, then the second flip, with all his teammates in hot pursuit.