Sehwag foils Australia fightback in Third Test
Part-time off-spinner Virender Sehwag picked three key wickets to
thwart Australia’s grim fightback on the third day of the third Test
here on Friday.
Sehwag, 30, denied centuries to captain Ricky Ponting (87) and
Matthew Hayden (83) before dismissing Michael Hussey (53) as the
tourists finished the day on 338-4 in reply to India’s imposing 613-7
They are still 275 runs behind with six wickets in hand and face the
unenviable task of batting on a wearing fifth-day track at the Feroz
Shah Kotla stadium.
The tourists, who trail the four-Test series 1-0 after a 320-run
thrashing in Mohali, must avoid defeat here if they are to retain the
Border-Gavaskar trophy, with one Test to go after this.
Michael Clarke was batting on 21 with Shane Watson on four at close
after surviving some close chances against the spinners, who managed to
extract good turn from the track.
Ponting hit 14 fours in his fine 163-ball knock and also shared a
vital 82-run stand with the in-form Hussey.
The Australian skipper looked set for his 37th ton following his 123
in the drawn Bangalore opener but was bowled by Sehwag, who gave away
just 66 runs off his impressive 22 overs.
Ponting is currently second behind India’s Sachin Tendulkar (39) in
the highest Test century-makers’ list.
Hayden, 37, too looked in ominous form, belting 13 fours and a
towering six in his 154-ball knock for his highest score in the series
The left-handed Queenslander shared 123 runs for the opening wicket
with Simon Katich (64) and another 79 with Ponting to lay the platform
for Australia’s reply.
His fine innings ended when he was trapped leg-before with a ball
that dipped in sharply.
The hosts meanwhile had an injury scare involving leg-spin veteran
and captain Anil Kumble.
INDIA 1ST INNINGS: 613-7 decl. (G. Gambhir 206, V. Laxman 200 no; M. Johnson 3-142, S. Watson 2-66)
AUSTRALIA 1ST INNINGS (overnight 50-0):
M. Hayden lbw b Sehwag 83
S. Katich b Mishra 64
R. Ponting b Sehwag 87
M. Hussey b Sehwag 53
M. Clarke not out 21
S. Watson not out 4
EXTRAS: (b16, lb3, nb6, w1) 26
TOTAL (for four wickets) 338
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-123 (Katich), 2-202 (Hayden), 3-284 (Ponting), 4-326 (Hussey).
BOWLING: Zaheer 16-4-57-0 (nb1), Sharma 19-5-46-0 (nb2, w1), Kumble 17-3-53-0 (nb1),
Mishra 30-7-95-1 (nb2), Sehwag 22-4-66-3, Tendulkar 1-0-2-0.