India on top as 15 wickets crash in Perth Test


Perth : Indian pacers, led by Rudra Pratap Singh, rocked Australia to snatch a 118-run first-innings lead and then consolidated it by the close of play on the second day of the third Test here Thursday. India now have an overall lead of 170 runs with nine second innings wickets intact.

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Left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap bagged four wickets for 68 as India dismissed Australia for 212 after their own first innings was terminated for 330 resuming at 297 for six. Andrew Symonds (66, 70 balls, 7x4s, 1×6) while Adam Gilchrist made (55, 61 balls, 9x4s) tried their best to prolong the Australian innings after they had lost half their side for 61 runs.

On a day when 15 wicket fell for 297 runs, India, at stumps, were 52 for one in the second innings with Virender Sehwag batting on 29 and night watchman Irfan Pathan two. Wasim Jaffer’s (11, 27 balls, 1×4) was the lone wicket to fall.

India’s renowned batting line-up could have been embarrassed again but for the fine knocks from Rahul Dravid (93) and Sachin Tendulkar (71).

Then, the relatively inexperienced pace attack, without the injured Zaheer Khan, struck back in a telling manner. It was an all-round effort as medium-pacers Pathan and Ishant Sharma and lone spinner skipper Anil Kumble bagged two wickets apiece to skittle Australia out in just 50 overs – an unusual experience for for the world beaters, more so at home and at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground.

It was also a day to remember for Kumble, who took his 600th wicket, when he had the wicket of Symonds, who scored his third successive half-century of the series. Symonds and Gilchrist were involved in a brisk 102-run sixth-wicket partnership that threatened to take the game away from India.

Playing his 124th Test, Kumble stemmed the run flow by having Symonds, caught by Dravid at slip. At one stage in the second session, Symonds and Gilchrist had reeled off 77 runs in 10 overs.

Symonds, however, was lucky to survive when on three, first slip Sachin Tendulkar failing to fasten on to straight catch off Pathan.

Gilchrist, at the other end, hit Singh for three successive boundaries, but the Uttar Pradesh bowler had the last laugh when he got the next delivery to rise awkwardly to induce an edge for wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to gobble up the catch.

The Symonds-Gilchrist partnership took Australia to 148 for five wickets at tea.

Pathan, opening the attack after a long time in Tests, struck to remove debutant Chris Rogers, picked in place of an injured Matthew Hayden, leg before wicket. The dismissal came two balls after the left-hander had square driven him for four — his first scoring stroke in Test cricket.

The Pathan then consumed left-handed Jaques with an outswinger, the opener going for an expansive drive, edging to second slip V.V.S. Laxman. Barely had the excitement died down, Singh dismissed Mike Hussey for nought to reduce the home side to 14 for three.

Captain Ricky Ponting and Clarke, however, survived till lunch but Australia were still precariously placed at 22 for three.

It was an eventful morning session with as many as seven wickets – including the last four of India – falling in 25 balls.

After lunch, though, Ponting and Clarke did not trouble the Indians much as Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma prised out both.

Ponting went jabbing at an outswinger to be splendidly caught by Dravid at third slip and Sharma then forced Clarke to edge to Dhoni.

For Dravid, it was his 164th catch in Test cricket and he became the third highest catcher in the world when he later caught Symonds.

India, resuming at their overnight 297 for six, lost their last four wickets for just 33 with Pathan and Dhoni, the overnight batsmen, making 28 and 19 respectively. In fact, the four wickets fell for just two runs.

Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, part of the four-pronged pace attack, was most successful with four wickets while Brett Lee captured three.


Third Test, Day 2, India vs. Australia, Western Australian Cricket Association Ground, Perth (stumps)

India (1st innings, overnight 297/6):
Wasim Jaffer c Gilchrist b Lee 16
Virender Sehwag c Gilchrist b Johnson 29
Rahul Dravid c Ponting b Symonds 93
Sachin Tendulkar lbw b Lee 71
Sourav Ganguly c Hussey b Johnson 9
V.V.S. Laxman c Tait b Lee 27
Mahendra Singh Dhoni lbw b Clark 19
Irfan Pathan lbw b Johnson 28
Anil Kumble c Rogers b Clark 1
Rudra Pratap Singh c Hussey b Johnson 0
Ishant Sharma not out 0
Extras: (lb 19, w 9, nb 9) 37
Total: (all out in 98.2 overs) 330

Fall of wickets: 1-57 (Sehwag, 16.4 overs), 2-59 (Jaffer, 19.2), 3-198 (Tendulkar, 57.4), 4-214 (Ganguly, 60.5), 5-278 (77.6), 6-284 (Laxman, 81.4), 7-328 (Dhoni, 95.4), 8-330 (Pathan, 96.6), 9-330 (Kumble, 97.1)

Brett Lee 24 5 71 3 (6nb, 1w)
Mitchell Johnson 28.2 7 86 4 (2w)
Stuart Clark 17 4 45 2 (1w)
Shaun Tait 13 1 59 0 (3nb, 1w)
Andrew Symonds 10 1 36 1
Michael Clarke 6 1 14 0

Australia (1st innings):
Phil Jaques c Laxman b Pathan 8
Chris Rogers lbw b Pathan 4
Ricky Ponting c Dravid b Sharma 20
Mike Hussey c Dhoni b R.P. Singh 0
Michael Clarke c Dhoni b Singh 23
Andrew Symonds c Dravid b Kumble 66
Adam Gilchrist c Dhoni b Singh 55
Brett Lee c Dhoni b Singh 11
Michael Johnson not out 6
Stuart Clark c Dhoni b Singh 0
Shaun Tait c and b Kumble 8
Extras: (b 4, lb 1, w 4, nb 2) 11
Total: (all out in 50 overs) 212

Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Rogers, 3.3 overs), 2-13 (Jaques, 3.5), 3-14 (Hussey, 6.2), 4-43 (Ponting, 14.3), 5-61 (Clarke, 18.2), 6-163 (Symonds, 35.4), 7-192 (Gilchrist, 42.4), 8-195 (Lee, 46.3), 9-195 (Clark, 46.6)

Rudra Pratap Singh 14 2 68 4 (1w)
Irfan Pathan 17 2 63 2 (2w)
Ishant Sharma 7 0 34 2 (1w)
Anil Kumble 12 1 42 2 (2nb)

India (2nd innings):
Wasim Jaffer c Hussey b Clark 11 (27 balls, 1×4)
Virender Sehwag batting 29
Irfan Pathan batting 2
Extras: (lb 2, w 2, nb 6) 10
Total: (for one wicket in 11 overs) 52

Fall of wicket: 1-45 (Jaffer, 9.3 overs)

Brett Lee 4 1 14 0 (nb3)
Mitchell Johnson 2 0 14 0
Stuart Clark 3 1 7 1
Shaun Tait 2 0 15 0 (nb3, w2)

Toss: India
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
Match Referee: Mike Procter (South Africa)