Wreckers-in-chief Lee, Clark satisfied with efforts

Published: Thursday, December 27, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Melbourne: Express bowler Brett Lee and right-arm seamer Stuart Clark wore smiles of quiet satisfaction on Thursday after combining to rip apart India's batting line-up and put Australia in control of the first Test.

Lee, who captured his 250th Test wicket and moved to sixth on the Australian Test-wicket takers list, finished with four for 48, while Clark ended with four for 25 as India were dismissed for 196 late on the second day.

The home side, already 147 ahead on the first innings, extended the lead to 179 after Matthew Haden (22) and Phil Jaques (10) reached stumps on 32 for no wicket.

"We were bowling good lines," Lee said of the pace bowling attack, which also included the unlucky Mitchell Johnson.

"You just have to look that it took (Rahul) Dravid 40-odd balls to get off the mark, so we were just trying to keep nice and patient and just give them nothing," Lee added.

"Patience is what we have been working on to build up momentum at each end.

"It is just a matter of bowling in partnerships .... and about building up pressure and I think we did that."

Clark, who took the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (62) and had a spell where he took three wickets for one run in 12 balls, said the pressure created by Lee and Johnson at the top of the order had helped him later in the innings. Five of the first seven overs in India's innings were maidens and when Clark dismissed Dravid for five in the 22nd over they had managed only 31 runs.

"I think the credit goes to Brett and Mitch because they didn't allow them the opportunity to score any runs.

"If you bowl badly you can go for plenty and ...it's a matter of bowling well on that wicket."

Lee, who had Anil Kumble caught by Adam Gilchrist for 27 to give him his 250th wicket, said he was pleased to have achieved the milestone.

"It feels fantastic. When you're nine years of age and thinking of playing one Test match and taking one Test wicket and then to think you're in the 250-club, it's a pretty special moment. I'm a very proud man."


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