Australia near Test win as India suffer early blows

Published: Monday, October 13, 2008, 12:46 [IST]
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Australian pacemen grabbed two early Indian second innings wickets to leave the hosts facing defeat in the first Test here on Monday.

India, set a victory target of 299 runs, slumped to 41-2 at lunch on the fifth and final day of the Test at the Chinnaswamy stadium and must now bat out the last two sessions to force a draw.

Sachin Tendulkar, who came in needing 64 runs to overtake Brian Lara as Test cricket's leading run-scorer, was unbeaten on 16 with three boundaries.

Left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir was on 12, having survived two close appeals off a single delivery in the session.

As Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf turned down Stuart Clark's leg-before shout, wicket-keeper Brad Haddin threw down the stumps and the appeal was referred to the TV umpire.

Replays showed Gambhir had just made his ground as the bails went off.

Australia, who resumed at the overnight score of 193-5, declared their second innings at 228-6 half-an-hour after the start to give their bowlers a minimum of 83 overs to dismiss India.

Shane Watson made 41 when he was bowled by seamer Ishant Sharma, who claimed three of the six Australian wickets to fall.

Haddin hit an unbeaten 35 while Cameron White was on 18 when skipper Ricky Ponting declared.

India's in-form opener Virender Sehwag was caught by Matthew Hayden at first slip off Clark for six, one run after being missed by Haddin off the same bowler.

Ponting then dived to his right at mid-wicket to remove Rahul Dravid for five with a spectacular catch as the batsman played an on-drive to an overpitched ball from Brett Lee.

The remaining three Tests will be played in Mohali (Oct 17-21), New Delhi (Oct 29- Nov 2) and Nagpur (Nov 6-10).

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