Sehwag strikes as India scent victory

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Indian slow ball bowlers struck it rich in the post lunch session to reduce Australia to 243/7 in the third Test at WACA in Perth on saturday.

The hosts still need an improbable 179 runs to keep thier winning streak intact with three wickets in hand.

Clarke (73) and Johnson (1) were at the crease at tea.

Sehwag delivered a deathly blow to the hosts when he dismissed the dangerous Gilly and Lee in quick succession before Clarke (73) gave the tourists some anxious moments with a flurry of boundaries.

Earlier, RP and Kumble had plucked the vital wickets of Hussey and Symonds respectively.

Australia's day got off to a bright start courtesy of a pair of Ponting boundaries. Punter played some eye-catching punch shots of the back foot. The overnight batsmen added further 52 with ease to take their side past 100 in 12th over of the morning.

But Ishant's introduction in the fifth over of the morning put Australia firmly on the back foot.

Young pacer Ishant bowled a probing spell of ten overs. His jagging deliveries have caused Aussie batsmen all sorts of problems.

The right-arm paceman looked sharp early, finding the edge of Hussey while also getting a delivery to jag back into Ponting's stomach after the Aussie captain failed to offer a shot.

The 19-year-old Delhi pacer continued to probe Ponting, who survived two confident lbw appeals on 34 with Sharma gaining terrific movement off the day-four pitch.

However Ishant had a last laugh when he induced Ponting to edge into the safe hands of Dravid at first slip, ending the 74-run stand.

Resuming the second session of the penultimate day at 142/3, the hosts lost Hussey (46) when RP rapped Mr Cricket in middle and off stump line. Kumble then had Symonds (12) LBW plumb infront off a flatter one that skidded off to hit Symmo's backfoot.

The hosts face an uphill task to keep thier hopes of winning the record 17 th Test in trot alive.

Brief Scores (at tea, D-4):

India 330&294 Vs Australia 212&243/7 (Clarke 73, Ponting 45, Hussey 46; Sehwag 2 for 9, Kumble 1 for 16, Pathan 2 for 46, Ishant 1 for 51).


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