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April 05 2020
India reach 117/6 at tea on Day 4
28 December 2011

Ind vs Aus: Australia dominate second session as India reach 117/6 at tea on Day 4

 Australian seamers were on a roll as they claimed half of the Indian side inside 70 runs to put the visitors in deep trouble on the fourth day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday. 

Scorecard 

Chasing 292 for victory, India lost the momentum in the post-lunch session after losing five of their crucial wickets in the second session against Australia on Day 4 of the first Test at MCG. 

India were tottering 117 for six at tea with skipper MS Dhoni (14*) and R Ashwin (30*) battling it out in the middle to defy rampaging Australian attack. 

Peter Siddle joined the party who got the prized wicket of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar as India lost their sixth wicket at the score of 81 on Day 4 of the first Test. 

Tendulkar, who was in good touch, went for the drive on a widish delivery but it was well caught by Michael Hussey at gully to give India another jolt. Tendulkar scored a quickfire 32 of 46 balls with the help of four boundaries. 

Paceman James Pattinson double-strike gave India denting blow as he dismissed Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in quick succession followed by Ben Hilfenhaus who claimed his second by trapping Virat Kohli for duck. 

India lost Dravid, Laxman and Kohli in a span of 11 runs. Laxman's trademark flick off Pattinson went straight to Ed Cowan at square leg, who made no mistake in grabbing it, as India were tottering at 69/5 from 58/3 at one stage. 

Pattinson cleaned up Dravid who managed to score only 10 runs in the second innings. Dravid got out in a similar fashion the way he lost his wicket in the first innings. 

The angular full-length delivery from Pattinson went through between bat and pad of Dravid to hit the timber. 

Peter Siddle had Gautam Gambhir, soon after lunch, caught by Ricky Ponting at second slip to put India under pressure on the fourth day of the first Test. 

India were 24 for one at lunch in their Indian second innings in pursuit of a 292-run victory target. 

The Indian run chase got off to a bad start as Michael Hussey took a sharp catch at gully to dismiss Virender Sehwag off Ben Hilfenhaus. 

Sehwag (7) went for a wild swing at a wide delivery, middled it but Hussey grasped it out of thin air over his head to dismiss the dangerman for Australia. 

Earlier, India bowled out Australia for 240 runs in their second innings which them left with a 292-run victory target. 

Ishant Sharma took the last Australian wicket when he had Ben Hilfenhaus caught by VVS Laxman at second slip. Zaheer Khan squared up Michael Hussey with an absolute beauty and had him caught behind by MS Dhoni. 

Hussey hit 9 fours in his 89-run knock before edging a good length delivery outside the off-stump that kicked up a hint and seamed away from him. 

The day's play started with Hussey and James Pattinson resuming the Australian second innings. 

On a bright and sunny Day 3, during the course of which the pendulum swayed crazily and as many as 15 wickets tumbled, Hussey redeemed himself and rescued his Test career with a gallant unbeaten 79 that took Australia to 179/8. 

India, having goofed up with the bat in the first innings, hit back with the ball to reduce Australia to 27/4 in their second essay before yielding ground once again to the hosts who recovered through a fine fifth-wicket stand of 115 runs between veterans Ricky Ponting (60) and Hussey. 

India did manage to prise out Ponting in the final session, along with Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon, to regain some lost ground, but the 51-run lead they conceded in the first innings could well make all the difference as the match heads for a close finish. 

Things started going wrong for India from the very second ball of the day as Ben Hilfenhaus produced a beauty to square up Rahul Dravid and peg back his stumps. Dravid's dismissal sent shock waves through the Indian camp and fired up the Aussie pacers, who came hard at the Indians. 

Hilfenhaus came up with his maiden five-wicket haul and got excellent support from James Pattinson (2/53) and Siddle (3/63), who had triggered the Indian collapse on Day 2 by dismissing a well-set Sachin Tendulkar. 

Lacklustre batting saw India collapse sensationally from 214/3 to 282 all out. The recognised batsmen cut a sorry figure as VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli and Dhoni were all guilty of poking at deliveries outside their off stump. 

But for a strong rearguard action by nightwatchman Ishant Sharma and the belligerence of R Ashwin, Australia's lead would have been much bigger. While Sharma defied the Australian pace attack for 103 minutes in making a 69-ball 11, Ashwin played a cameo (31 off 35 balls) and was the last man to be dismissed. 

Australian second innings got off to a shaky start with Umesh Yadav striking twice in his fourth over to dismiss both the openers. While David Warner dragged one back on to his stumps, Ed Cowan padded up to one that was straight and full. Yadav then added a third to his kitty when Shaun Marsh did a Warner. 

At 24/3, the Aussies looked vulnerable. And when the luckless Ishant, who topped 152.2 kmph on the speed gun, finally broke his wicket-drought by forcing skipper Michael Clarke to play on, the match had turned on its head. It required two men with grey hair and ample class to alter the equation for Australia. 

Ponting and Hussey not only settled nerves in the dressing room with their no-frills approach, but also scored at a fair clip to demonstrate that they still have a lot to offer to the team.

 

 

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