Indians fight back to claim two Aussie wickets

Bangalore, Oct 12 (UNI) India, after conceding a 70-run first innings lead, struck back claiming two Australian wickets for 74 runs at tea on the fourth day of the first Test match being played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

The visitors looked very cautious while the Indians bowled to a plan, choking the run flow even as opener Simon Katich made a slow 21 off 100 balls. First innings centurian Mike Hussey was, however, purposeful as he always looked for singles and kept Katich company at the tea break with 12.

Earlier, India, in reply to Australia's 430 in the first innings, were all out for 360 in the first session with Zaheer Khan scoring a valuable 57 to keep the lead to less than 100 runs.

The Indians tasted their first success in the 13th over when Zaheer trapped the off-colour Mathew Hayden for just 13 with a inswinger which was responded to late by the burly Aussie and umpire Asad Rauf had no doubts in his mind.

Ponting, who came in at the fall of Hayden, was welcomed with four close-in fielders as the Indians press hard against the Aussie captain.

Harbhajan, who bowled 12 overs without success, was however, impressive and troubled the batsmen. But it was Ishant bowling a beautiful line to Ponting dismissed him for the fourth time in four tests. He first tried to fox him with a slower one but the Aussie skipper was cautious, however he sent another slow one in the very next delivery and Ponting prodded clumsily to direct a simple catch to VVS Laxman specially positioned at short mid wicket.

India received a jolt in the Australian second innings as Kumble did not take to the field for some time due to a sour shoulder. He however came on the field before tea but did not bowl.

Despite one bowler short, the four Indian did well to restrict the opponents to a total lead of 144 with four sessions remaining in the match. Australia could score only 65 in 27 overs in the post lunch session.

Before lunch, Australia gained a crucial 70-run first innings lead after India, which extended its fight back, made 360 in its first innings before being dismissed 24 minutes before lunch.

Resuming at the overnight total of 313 for 8, chasing the Australian first innings total of 430, Zaheer Khan completed his second Test half century and remained unbeaten at 57 to help India bring the lead to fewer than 100 runs. Kumble and Ishant Sharma did their bit in extending the fight back as the Indian tail lasted 85 minutes this morning.

Stuart Clark took his first innings of the match clean bowling Ishant Sharma, while earlier Shane Watson took his second wicket trapping Anil Kumble leg before.


Story first published: Sunday, October 12, 2008, 15:34 [IST]
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