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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Australia struggle but India blow chance of 1st inns lead T1D3

Australia 428 lead India 405 (108.1 ov, S Tendulkar 98, S Raina 86, R Dravid 77, V Sehwag 59, M Johnson 5/64) by 23 runs on 1st innings: T1/2 D3/5 at Mohali.

At tea India had lost only two wickets during the day (one of them the nightwatchman) and at 4/280 looked set for a comfortable first innings lead over Australia. But it didn't turn out that way. The Australian fielding was below par and the bowling had lacked pentration. Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina seemed determined to have their team well in front by stumps, then some rash strokeplay against bowlers who had found their second wind saw them lose 5/23 and concede a mall first innings lead.

After Ishant Sharma had irked the Australians by hanging around for 18/56b Rahul Dravid 77/134b (12x4) and Tendulkar added 79 together beforeTendulkar and Raina strengthened India's platform before tea. After the interval they disdainfully took to the Australian bowling until Marcus North against the run of play trapped a perhaps overconfident Tendulkar lbw for 98/189b (13x4). A vintage innings : yes, it deserved a century.

Nevertheless at 5/354 India still looked well placed. But M S Dhoni, after a couple of imperious strokes, edged Mitchell Johnson to first slip. Shane Watson wasn't sure whether he'd taken the catch, but the third umpireSanjay Hazare (on the evidence of a limited number of replays) decided that he had. 6/382 then 7/382 as Harbhajan Singh edged his first ball to the keeper. Johnson missed his hat trick but soon after bagged Raina, who until then had, like Tendulkar, looked set for a century, for 86/128b (14x4). Nathan Hauritz offset some ordinary bowling - too often too wide of off stump - with a couple of late wickets

It was an amazing about turn. Australia looked gone for all money: chances and half chances were missed and shoulders drooped. The pitch is still playing well so the game is still open. After another day like today I'm not game to make any predictions but will watch D4 with much interest.

Scorecard

Fox Sports report & link to video highlights

Times of India report

The Hindu report

Cricinfo Bulletin
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