Sehwag triple century leads India run spree
Saturday, 29 March 2008

REUTERS, CHENNAI, India - Indian opener Virender Sehwag smashed his second career triple century and the fastest recorded to spearhead India's reply against South Africa on the third day of the first test on Friday.

Indian opener Virender Sehwag Sehwag bludgeoned an unbeaten 309 to match his previous best made against Pakistan in Multan in 2004.

The 29-year-old steered the hosts to 468 for one at stumps in reply to South Africa's first innings 540 all out, destroying the South African bowling on a good batting pitch.

Sehwag matched the feat of Australian Don Bradman and West Indies batsman Brian Lara, who have also surpassed 300 twice. Lara holds the record for the highest test score (400 not out).

Sehwag achieved his triple hundred from an astonishing 278 balls, which surpassed the 362 balls faced by Australian Matthew Hayden when he scored a then world record 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth in 2003-4.

Scorers began recording the deliveries faced only in the modern era, with some of the triple hundreds including those scored by Bradman and England's Walter Hammond only recorded in terms of minutes taken.

Sehwag has shared in an unbroken 255-run partnership for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid, who was on 65.

He notched his 14th test hundred during a 213-run opening partnership with Wasim Jaffer (73) before destroying the South African bowling after lunch, particularly punishing in-form paceman Dale Steyn and left-arm spinner Paul Harris.

Sehwag, who scored 151 in his previous test innings - in the drawn final test against Australia at Adelaide in January, scored 118 runs between lunch and tea, racing to his second hundred runs off 78 deliveries.

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