New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) Virender Sehwag claimed his first five-wicket haul as butter-fingered Indians gave Michael Clarke (101) ample opportunities to get to his century and Australia went to tea at 539 for seven on the fourth day of the third Test here today.
At tea, Clarke, riding on three lifelines from the Indian fielders, was batting with Brett Lee (3) and the and the visitors were just 74 runs behind India's first innings total of 613 for seven declared.
Clarke, who hit six boundaries and a six in his 219-ball stay at the wicket, was dropped thrice at 21, 91 and 94.
Meanwhile, Sehwag continued his splendid run with the bowl and cleaned up Cameron White (44) to grab his first five-wicket haul and also broke a 106-run seventh-wicket stand. The local lad could have got his fifth wicket much earlier had VVS Laxman and Amit Mishra not dropped the dollies that came their way.
The off-spinner returned with impressive figures five for 104 off his 40 overs, Kumble and Mishra bagged a wicket each.
Clarke, while trying to heave Sehwag over the square leg boundary, lofted the ball to the mid-wicket fielder where the ball went straight to Laxman but the ball popped out of his hand. In the very next over of Sehwag, Mishra gave another life to Clarke as he dropped the batsman at deep square-leg boundary.
Sehwag could not do anything but smile at his fielders abilities and came back in his next over castled White as the bowl crashed into his stumps and added another wicket to his day's tally.
Clarke was also given a life by Ishant Sharma as he dropped a sitter at mid-off when the batsman was still at his overnight score of 21. Mishra was the unlucky bowler and to add insult to injury, Clarke cloberred the bowler to a boundary in the very next ball.
The post-lunch session, which was getting frustrating for India saw White and Clarke raising Australia's 500 in the 156th over of the innings. White before falling to Sehwag hit five fours and a six in the 95 balls that he played.
Earlier in the day, an ailing Anil Kumble returned to the field with a heavily bandaged left hand after the first hour's play and claimed his first wicket of the series dismissing Haddin (17) who missed the line of the ball completely. Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not make any mistake behind the stumps to dislodge the bails with the batsman well out side his crease.
In the first seesion of the day, Shane Watson (36) and Clarke scored at a brisk pace and added 73 runs for the fifth wicket before Sehwag turned one big to rattle Watson's leg stump.
Watson was playing well and, in company of Clarke, was growing in confidence. But a delivery from Sehwag that pitched well outside his off-stump spun a long way to shatter the stumps and Watson could do nothing but to look in astonishment.
Watson made 36 off 62 balls and during his 85-minute stay at the wicket the all-rounder hit eight fours.
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