Day 3: Hussey leads Aussies from the front, 179/8

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Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 8:53 [IST]
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Aussies lead by 230 runs

Melbourne, Dec 28: Indian bowlers keep Aussies at bay as Yadav claims 4 wickets. Michael Hussey (79*) led the Australian battle as he fought alone while wickets tumbled on the other side as they scored 179/8 at stumps on Day 3. Australia lead by 230 runs.

[Scorecard: Boxing Day Test; India Vs Australia, Melbourne]

Yadav dismissed Siddle for 4 and claimed his fourth wicket of the innings while Ashwin opened his account by taking the wicket of Spinner Nathan Lyon for a nought.

Zaheer Khan earlier had struck twice claiming Ricky Ponting (60) and Brad Haddin (6). Ponting and Michael Hussey scored fifties each to lead Australian recovery in their second innings.

Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey fought back by scoring 115 runs partnership to get Aussies back into the game after losing four quick wickets earlier.

India were off to a good start as Yadav claimed three wickets to send Aussies reeling at 26/3. Warner (5), Cowan (0) and Marsh (3) back in the pavillion. Ishant Sharma bowled out skipper Michael Clarke (1) as Aussies struggled against India's bowling attack.

A brilliant effort by Ben Hilfenhaus wrecks India's famous batting line-up as they added only 68 runs to their over night score of 214/3. Another batting collapse saw the visitors conceding a lead of 51 runs. The advantage that they earned on Day 2 with some good batting, lost it completely surrendering the advantage to the Aussies.

As the day's proceedings began, Dravid faced the first ball on Day 3 and to everyone's surprise, was bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus the second delivery of the Day. It all started from there. Looked like Indian batsmen padded up and came to the crease just to give a wicket to Hilfenhaus.

Hilfenhaus was at his best this morning, as he bowled a full length delivery, which straightened to sneak past Dravid and rattled his off stump. It was exactly what the Aussies wanted early on Day 3. Interestingly both the veterans, Sachin and Dravid were out in consecutive overs, which is indeed a big boost for Australia.

Very Very Special Laxman too could not do anything special against his favorite opposition. Laxman looked very scratchy on Day 3, as he struggled to score runs, defended most of the balls. when he just started off, Siddle ensured that he got his man not letting him to score big. Another fuller length delivery from Siddle gave set a major blow as VVS Laxman was out for 2.

Next, the most talented Virat Kohli, who again had a wonderful opportunity to continue his good run in Australia. The centurion during the practice match failed to come to India's rescue as the team was trailing by 100 runs when he entered the field.

Virat Kohli also got out to a similar delivery after he had scored just 11 runs, now the hopes of scoring 333 and taking a lead looked quite difficult.

India's last hope was when the skipper joined Ishant Sharma at the crease. As soon as the Aussies opted for a new ball, Hilfenhaus was back and he dismissed Dhoni (6) as the

Indian skipper was in a mood to give Hussey some catching practice. This also marked Hilfenhaus' 5th wicket in the innings.

Interestingly, bowlers R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma shouldered the responsibility of getting India to a decent total. From 214/3, India slipped to 245/7. Ishant Sharma who supported Ashwin for a while, also fell while the score read 254/8.Zaheer Khan too did not last long as he was out soon. Ashwin, impressive with the bat again, scored 31 valuable runs to help the team reach 282, as he was the last man to be dismissed when the score was 282.

Totally a good session for the Aussies, Hilfenhaus being the pick of the bowlers, claiming 5 wickets, Siddle grabbed 3 while Pattinson managed to get 2 wickets in the first innings.

With a first innings lead of 51 runs, Aussies are quite positive on Day 3.

Into Day three of the Boxing day Test, we have witnessed a see-saw kind of a performance from the visitors as they bowled brilliantly on Day 1, slightly off shade on Day 2, while they compensated that with a great batting display. Similarly the first session on Day 3 entirely belonged to the Aussies as they got rid of 7 batsmen giving away just 68 runs.

The match is evenly poised as more is expected to happen during the course of the day and on Day 4.


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