Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spinners restrict Australia to 202 for seven

Indian spinners raised hopes of an exciting finish to the second and final cricket Test against Australia by reducing the visitors to 202 for seven after Sachin Tendulkar slammed his sixth double hundred here today.

Riding on Tendulkar’s marathon 214, India took a slender 17-run first innings as they folded for 495 at stroke of lunch in reply to Australia’s 478.

Indian tweakers Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh then bowled superbly to reduce Australia to 202 for seven at stumps on day four at M Chinnaswamy stadium.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting batted with resolve for his 72 before being trapped by paceman Zaheer Khan at the fag end of the penultimate day of the match.

Ponting was the highest-scorer for the team and struck seven boundaries and a six in his 117-ball knock.

Australia, who are seeking a series—levelling win, are leading by 185 runs with lower-order batsmen to contend a fired-up Indian bowling unit.

Mitchell Johnson (7) and Nathan Hauritz (8) will resume the Australian innings tomorrow.

Pragyan Ojha snared three batsmen while Harbhajan Singh took two wickets as Australia slumped from 94 for three to 202 for seven in the last session.

Openers Shane Watson (34) and Simon Katich (24) made a good start by adding 58 runs for the first wicket but India clawed their way back by striking thrice swiftly.

Left—armer Ojha trapped Watson to draw first blood in the 17th over while Harbhajan Singh removed Katich three balls later to rattle the Australians.

A tremendous piece of work by Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets resulted in Michael Clarke’s dismissal.

A sharply turning ball from Ojha deceived Clarke to reach the gloves of Dhoni, who took the bails off with lightening speed leaving the batsman short of crease.

Earlier, India suffered a dramatic lower-order collapse after Tendulkar was bowled by debutant Peter George as the hosts lost last four wickets for just nine runs.

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