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Pathan, Ishant rock Aussies at WACA

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008, 13:33 [IST]
 
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Pathan, Ishant rattle Aussies in Perth

Perth: India's seamers rocked the Australian top order on the second day of the third Test at the WACA ground here Thursday.

After the Indians lost their last four wickets to be all out for 330, they struck back with the ball to have Australia reeling at 61 for five.

At tea the home side had recovered to 148 for five as the oppressive heat took some of the sting out of the Indian attack.

For the second Test in a row, Andrew Symonds made the most of some good fortune to be 56 not out, with Adam Gilchrist on 34.

The pair had added 87, but Symonds was extremely lucky to still be at the crease.

He miscued countless times and when he was only three, Sachin Tendulkar inexplicably grassed an easy chance at first slip off Irfan Pathan.

On 14, he got an inside edge to RP Singh and the ball appeared to be heading straight for middle stump, only to spin at right angles and just miss.

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

However, Pathan (2-46) turned their fortunes around with a superb opening spell in his first Test of the series.

Selected ahead of spinner Harbhajan Singh, Pathan was swinging 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 VVX Laxman at second slip for eight as Australia slumped to 13 for two.

RP Singh then joined the party, with the prolific Mike Hussey caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a duck.

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

Ricky Ponting was 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 Gilchrist steadied the innings.

There seemed to be little in the pitch for the bowlers early in the day, with overnight batsmen Pathan and Dhoni taking the score along comfortably.

But Dhoni's dismissal for 19, to a dubious LBW from the bowling of Stuart Clark, sparked the loss of four wickets in just 17 balls.

Clark also removed Anil Kumble, brilliantly caught by Rogers at point for one, while Mitchell Johnson picked up Pathan (28) and RP Singh for a duck.

Johnson finished with 4-86, although Brett Lee was the most impressive of the Australian bowlers with 3-71.

Australia are 2-0 ahead in the four-Test series and have already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but are aiming for a world record 17th Test win in succession.

Brief Scores (at tea, D-2):

India Ist innings 330 all out Vs Australia Ist innings 148/5 (Symonds 56 n o, Gilchrist 34, Ponting 20; Pathan 2 for 46, Ishant 2 for 34).

AFP

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