India puts Oz on back foot

2013-03-18 00:00

MOHALI — India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar blew Australia apart, dismissing three of their top batsmen before the visitors limped to stumps on 75 for three on the fourth day of the third test in Mohali yesterday.

Kumar ended the stay of both David Warner and Ed Cowan for two and eight respectively.

Phil Hughes could only watch helplessly as Steve Smith also departed without reaching double figures.

Hughes (53 not out) may have to save this match on his own, as the word from the Australian camp is that Michael Clarke was struggling with some back pain.

When the players left the field, night-watchman Nathan Lyon had four.

Earlier, five wickets for Peter Siddle ended India’s resistance as they were dismissed for 499 — a lead of 91 runs — after tea.

India only added 20 runs after the break, and lost their last three wickets in the process.

Virat Kohli was the last man standing on 67.

Siddle finished with 5-71.

Refusing to either declare or push the score along, the hosts added only 95 runs in the afternoon session, and with only one day to go, this match was slowly being suffocated.

Murali Vijay was dismissed by Mitchell Starc for 153, having faced a mammoth 317 deliveries. His innings included 19 fours and three sixes.

Starc also removed Mahendra Singh Dhoni for four, before Siddle sent Ravindra Jadeja (eight) and Ravichandran Ashwin (four) packing.

Australia started the day with purpose, slowing down India as the hosts reached 384 for three at lunch, trailing by 24 runs.

Vijay was unbeaten on 142 as Sachin Tendulkar fell for 37 the last ball before the interval.

India resumed on 283 without loss, with debutant Shikhar Dhawan (185 not out overnight) set on becoming one of the quickest double-centurions of all time.

This record was not to be, however, when, only two runs later, he succumbed to Nathan Lyon, pushing hard at a length ball for Michael Clarke to snaffle the catch at silly point.

His innings lasted all of 174 deliveries, and included 33 fours and two sixes.

Cheteshwar Pujara was soon to follow him back to the dressing room for a single, adjudged leg-before to Siddle, although replays showed an inside edge which umpire Aleem Dar did not pick up.

Tendulkar joined Vijay, who brought up his third test century, all against Australia and the second one in two tests, chipping Lyon to long-on for four.

The pair appeared to be in no rush, and the scoring rate dropped to below two runs an over in stark contract to the madness of the previous day.

The Little Master seemed intent on surviving and compiling a big score, but fell to Smith on the stroke of lunch for 37.

He faced 81 balls.

— SuperSport.

Scores in brief: Australia 408 (Cowan 86, Warner 71, Smith 92, Starc 99; Jadeja 3-77, Sharma 3-72) and 73-3 (Hughes 53; Kumar 3-25)

India 499 (Vijay 153, Dhawan 187, Kholi 67*; Siddle 5-71)

Australia are 16 runs behind with seven wickets remaining.

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