Australia fight back in third Test

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Perth: Australia struck back with the ball early on the third day of the third Test against India at the WACA Ground here on Friday.

The visitors started the day in control with a 170-run lead and nine second innings wickets in hand, but lost four quick wickets before lunch as the home side kept their dream of 17 straight Test wins alive.

At lunch, India were 158 for five in their second innings, with Irfan Pathan on 45 on VVS Laxman on 18.

The visitors had conceded some of their overnight advantage and led by 276 overall, with almost three days of play remaining.

Seamer Stuart Clark (2-32) started the Australian fightback by dismissing Virender Sehwag.

The recalled opener was looking dangerous when he moved to 43, but missed a straight delivery and it brushed his pads before crashing into the stumps.

India were 79 for two and speedster Brett Lee's renaissance continued when he claimed two vital wickets.

Lee (2-36) snared the prized scalp of Rahul Dravid, who feathered a catch through to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist on three.

Sachin Tendulkar and night watchman Pathan then steadied the innings, before Lee trapped the former LBW when he missed with an attempt to turn the ball off his pads on 13.

When Mitchell Johnson, who was expensive conceding 53 runs in seven overs, had Sourav Ganguly caught at first slip for a duck, India had slumped to 125 for five, and lost four wickets for just 46 runs.

Pathan and Laxman then saw the Indians through to lunch.

Pathan, who scored a century in his previous Test against Pakistan, had looked very composed in 130 minutes at the crease, facing 59 balls and hitting six boundaries.

India had resumed at 52 for one, having led by 118 on the first innings when they dismissed Australia for 212 on the second day.

Australia leads the series 2-0 and has already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3):

India 330 and 158/5 Vs Australia 212.


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