India dominate second day

India have kept their four match series against Australia alive, after bowling the Aussies out in just 50 overs for 212 on day two of the third Test at Perth.

The day started well for Australia when they had little issues wrapping up the Indian lower order on the second day as they carried the valuable momentum of the previous day over.

Dhoni and Pathan provided some resistance with the bat, but the new look Indian wicketkeeper was out LBW to Clark for nine, in what might be called a suspect decision with Hawkeye indicating the delivery might have been going over, with Dhoni very far forward.

It was a deserved piece of luck for Clark though, the New South Welshman bowling superbly throughout the innings for very little success and finally he had a wicket to show for it.

The so called typical Indian collapse was then on show for all of the enthusiastic WACA crowd to see when Irfan Pathan was trapped leg-before to Mitchell Johnson for a useful 28, the next over.

The final two wickets followed suite, Indian skipper Anil Kumble, victim to a brilliant aerial catch by debutant Chris Rogers for one run. Tailender RP Singh was not able to cope with the extra bounce the Indian innings of 330 came to a feeble end after looking so good earlier on the first day.

The joy ended there for Australia as their innings got off to the worst possible start when Rogers was given out LBW on four. The Pathan delivery looked like it was going down the leg side, but it will be little consolation for the home town boy.

Two deliveries later and opening partner Jaques was on his was back to the pavilion, edging Pathan to Laxman at second slip, the result of poor footwork on Australian’s part, leaving Australia in serious trouble at 2-13.

Things went from bad to worse for the locals when new man in, Michael Hussey, recorded his first ever Test match duck, much to the disappointment of his home crowd. Hussey played an uncharacteristically loose shot whilst attempting an early cover drive and ended up edging it through to MS Dhoni waiting patiently behind the stumps.

India continued bowling beautifully, generating swing and maintaining good line and length to trouble the vaunted Australian batting line up constantly. After lunch they reaped more rewards for their efforts when Sharma had Ponting caught at third slip for 20. The youngster went wicketless at Sydney, but the joy was there for all observers to see as his dismissed arguably the world’s best batsman with just his third ball of the match.

He wasn’t about to stop there and shortly afterwards he had Clarke out in similar fashion, outside edging to Dhoni for just 23 with the Indians taking full control of the game at 5-65, with Australia searching for ways to even make it past the first hundred and searching for someone, anyone, to lead the fightback.

That fightback came spectacularly when two of the world’s most explosive batsmen, Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist got to together to put on, perhaps, the partnership of the series.

Figuring the best defense would be to attack, the two played a one-day style innings, taking their chances and riding their luck, Symonds in particular continuing his good form, bringing up his 50 with a magnificent six off Kumble that had the crowd on its feet.

The two bought up their hundred partnership in just 102 balls and it took a piece of magic from the Indian captain to put a stop to the fireworks. Kumble let off a quicker one at Symonds’ off stump, inducing an outside edge from the all-rounder and whilst Dhoni was unable to hold on to the catch, Dravid at first slip was able to pick up the pieces to dismiss Symonds for 66.

Just as importantly it was Kumble’s 600th Test match wicket, a stellar feat in what has been a brilliant career. A milestone that will be all the more appreciated due to the tumultuous and turbulent times the captain has had to endure throughout the past couple of weeks.

Gilchrist threatened to unleash once his partner in crime had departed and took to RP Singh with three fours in a row as the wicketkeeper reminded all of his ability to explode in key situations.

Singh was to have none of it however and on the fourth ball of the over, the young Indian seamer bowled a shorter one that had Gilchrist defending backwards and edging it to the busy keeper.

Gilchrist’s innings of 55, along with Symonds efforts had helped Australia get back into the game somewhat and save the world number one side from some embarrassment, although there is little doubt the duo would have been unhappy with not going on with things, once they had gotten a start.

Lee played a watchful innings for 11 and Clark lasted all of three balls, before both were removed by the rejuvenated RP. Tait entertained with two fours, but he was never going to last long and his new and improve pads contributed to his downfall when he was caught and bowled for eight to a delighted Anil Kumble.

Australia had been bowled out for 212, at home, a sight one doesn’t see everyday, with the side only lasting 50 overs. The local batsmen were made to pay for not showing the visiting bowlers proper respect and the whole Indian side bowled well as a team to contribute to the successful day’s play for the tourists.

The Indians still had to see off an awkward session of play and they did it in fine style as they withstood everything the fired up Australians had to throw at them.

Only Jaffer fell right before the close of play when Clark had the out of form opener caught at gully, but at 1-52 with a lead of 170 and nine second innings wickets remaining, it is India who are very much in front and much to the dismay of many critics, dominating this match.

India 330
Rahul Dravid 93, Sachin Tendulkar 71
Mitchell Johnson 4-86, Brett Lee 3-71

Australia 212
Andrew Symonds 66, Adam Gilchrist 55
RP Singh 4-68, Ishant Sharma 2-34

India 1-52
Virender Sehwag 29*
Stuart Clark 1-7

India lead by 170 runs with nine wickets remaining

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