Kumble plucks 600th scalp as Aus collapse

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008, 17:24 [IST]
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Kumble plucks 600th scalp as Aus collapse

Perth: Indian captain Anil Kumble claimed his 600th Test wicket but it was his unheralded pace attack that left the tourists in control of the third Test against Australia at the WACA Thursday.

Kumble became just the third bowler to reach the 600 mark when he removed the dangerous Andrew Symonds but it was the recalled Irfan Pathan who did the top order damage.

RP Singh then ran through the Australian tail as the home side were dismissed for just 212 in reply to India's 330 on the second day of the match.

India were 52 for one at stumps, with explosive opener Virender Sehwag on 29 and nightwatchman Irfan Pathan on two, giving the tourists an overall lead of 170.

With close of play just minutes away, opener Wasim Jaffer's miserable series continued when he fell to Stuart Clark for 11.

Australia won the first two Tests of the four-match series to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but their quest for a world record 17th straight Test win is in serious trouble.

It was India who broke Australia's previous streak of 16 wins in Kolkata in 2001, when they followed on 274 runs behind but won the match on the back of the batting heroics of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

India squandered the good foundation provided by Dravid (93) and Sachin Tendulkar (71) when they collapsed from 328 for six early in the day, losing their last four wickets for only two runs in 17 balls.

However, Pathan (2-63) turned their fortunes around with a superb opening spell in his first Test of the series as the Indians produced a stunning bowling display in oppressive 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) heat.

Selected ahead of spinner Harbhajan Singh, Pathan swung the ball prodigiously and trapped local debutant Chris Rogers LBW for four in front of a disappointed home crowd.

He then snared Australia's other opener, Phil Jaques, who was caught by Laxman at second slip for eight as Australia slumped to 13 for two.

RP Singh then joined the party, having the prolific Mike Hussey caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who took five catches, for a duck.

Australia were 14 for three and seven wickets had fallen for just 16 runs in 45 minutes of amazing cricket.

Skipper Ricky Ponting was the next to go, caught by a diving Dravid in the slips for 20 off Ishant Sharma.

Sharma (2-34) also claimed the wicket of Michael Clarke, caught behind for 23, before Symonds and Adam Gilchrist steadied the innings.

Symonds enjoyed plenty of good fortune. He was inexplicably dropped by Tendulkar at first slip on three from the bowling of Pathan, going on to top-score with 66 from 70 balls.

He and Gilchrist (55) put on 102 in 104 minutes to lift Australian hopes, before Symonds's luck eventually ran out and he became Kumble's 600th Test scalp.

Spinner Kumble bowled a shorter, faster delivery and it cramped Symonds, who got a thick edge. The ball rebounded off the top of wicketkeeper Dhoni's glove and ballooned to Dravid at first slip.

Gilchrist took three boundaries off one RP Singh over, but the bowler had immediate revenge when the left-hander edged a sharply rising delivery to Dhoni.

Australia's tail offered little resistance and they lost their last five wickets for 49 runs, with RP Singh finishing with 4-68.

Kumble rounded off the innings by taking a simple return catch off number 11 Shaun Tait for his 601st wicket.

The 37-year-old trails only Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, with 723 wickets, and retired Australian Shane Warne, with 708.


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