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Johnson wrecks top order, India reduced to 133 for 4 at lunch

Bangalore, Oct 11 (UNI) Australian left arm pacer Mitchell Johnson rattled the Indian top order claiming three quick wickets to reduce the hosts to 133 for four at lunch on the third day of the first Test being played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.

Rahul Dravid (35) and Sourav Ganguly (07) were at the crease at lunch.

India, which was given a good start by openers Gautam Gambhir (21) and Virender Sehwag (45), resumed at 68 for no loss but lost four batsmen in the first hour with Johnson shaking up the experienced batting line up with a nagging spell that read 8.5-3-19-3.

While Bret Lee trapped Gambhir in the second over of the morning session, Johnsoon tormented the Indians with clever use of angle and mixing up the pace scalping the vital wickets of Sehwag, Tendulkar (13) and Laxman, with the last named dismissed for a duck.

But for Gambhir, the Indian batsmen had to blame themselves as they failed to come with terms of the Aussie attack who was accurage despite the slow wicket hardly assisting the speedsters.

However, they struck to a good line and tested the batsmen on or outside the off stump, while Bret Lee could still manage some steep bounce to trouble the batsmen.

Gambhir was the first to depart, though to a doubtful decision, after he was rapped on the pad by Lee. Umpire Asad Rauf raised his finger though the delivery seemed to miss the leg stump. The umpires Rauf and Rudi Koertzen had come under criticisms in the first two days after Mathew Hayden was given out caught behind by Rauf through the ball seemed to elude the edge, while Koertzen had overruled a return catch taken by Anil Kumble off his counterpart Ricky Ponting.

Sehwag and Tendulkar departed with tame dismissals while India needed their presence the most. While the Delhi opener fished out at a widish delivery from Johnson to offer an easy catch to Hayden at first slip in the 23rd over, Tendulkar was foxed by the left arm pacer with a off spinner forcing the master batsmen to jab at awkwardly and offer a tame catch to Cameron White in short covers.

His dismissal left India reduced to 94 for three in the 28th over.

Tendulkar had lived dangerously as he had almost got out to the same stroke but the ball fell just short of cover fielder, while a few overs earlier he escaped being run out after charging out for a nonexistent run. Throw from Michael Clark just missed the stump with the batsman hopelessly short of crease.

However, the master blaster became the highest run getter in Tests on Indian soil when he surpassed Sunil Gavaskar's mark of 5067 runs when he reached 12.

Laxman left for a duck offering a tame catch to keeper Brad Haddin.

Rahul Dravid, who came at the fall of Gambhir, played gritty, while Ganguly kept him company averted any further loss till the lunch break.


Story first published: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 13:33 [IST]
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