Honours even after first day

A Matthew Hayden century and a resurgent 94 from Adam Gilchrist have lifted Australia to 331 for 6 at the end of day one in the Super Test.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat on a good looking Sydney wicket. Steve Harmison’s third ball was right on target that came back a fraction which Justin Langer missed, clean bowling him after only three deliveries.

Ricky Ponting joined Hayden and the skipper unleashed strokes all around the field, both aerially and along the ground. Ponting took to Jacques Kallis in particular, the South African conceding 16 off three overs.

Andrew Flintoff, who shared the new ball with Harmison, continued to toil away at one end. He was rewarded as Ponting fended a rising ball straight to Kallis at slip, who took an awkward catch. Australia was 73 for 2.

Hayden was riding his luck, but played aggressively throughout. Michael Clarke continued in the same attacking vein after a cautious start. Extra significance was the fact he was playing at number 4, effectively replacing Damien Martyn. The pair reached lunch and looked comfortable in the conditions.

Daniel Vettori had Clarke prodding forward, thinly inside-edging to Sehwag at short-leg who took a wonderful catch. The pair had put on 81 runs in quick time. Disaster followed for the Australians as Simon Katich was run-out by a direct hit.

Shane Watson joined Hayden. The two mixed stout defence with aggressive shots and put on 63 runs. Hayden reached his 22nd test hundred off 161 balls, including 10 boundaries.

Muttiah Muralitharan was the stand-out for the World XI, bowling with control and determination. He was rewarded with Hayden’s wicket for 111, chipping a ball to point that bounced steeply.

Adam Gilchrist simply continued his form in the one-day series, finishing unbeaten on 94 at the close. Muralitharan claimed Watson before the close, attempting a heave over midwicket that trapped him plumb in front for 24. Shane Warne was not out on 1 at stumps, bad light stopping play at 85 overs.

Australia 331 for 6

Matthew Hayden 111, Adam Gilchrist 94 no
Muttiah Muralitharan 2-102, Steve Harmison 1-55, Andrew Flintoff 1-55.

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