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India in control of 3rd Test after Bhuvneshwar’s triple strike

PTI Mohali | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 17, 2013

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: Australia's Steven Smith is bowled out off Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Day 4 of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Photo: S Subramanium

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates with team mates on getting Murali Vijay out on Day 4 of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Photo: S Subramanium

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: India's Virat Kohli in action on Day 4 of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Photo: S Subramanium

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: India's Murali Vijay playes a shot to the boundary on Day 4 of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Photo: S Subramanium

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: India's Sachin Tendulkar playes a shot to the boundary on Day 4 of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Photo: S Subramanium

Murali Vijay (153) cracked his second successive century before young paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar quickly snapped up three Australian wickets to raise hopes of an Indian victory in the third cricket Test which seemed headed for an exciting finish.

After conceding a 91-run first innings lead, the visitors were struggling at 75 for three at stumps, on the penultimate day with Bhuvneshwar producing a brilliant spell to remove openers David Warner (2), Ed Cowan (8) and Steven Smith (5), who was promoted ahead of injured captain Michael Clarke.

At stumps, Phillip Hughes (53 batting) is fighting hard in company of nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (4).

The stage is now set for an engrossing fifth day’s play on a deteriorating track as India will try to dismissing seven remaining Aussie batsmen and keep the target within manageable limit with 98 overs permissible.

India lead the series 2-0 after convincing wins in Chennai and Hyderabad, and seemed to be on course to clinch the series despite Peter Siddle’s five-for, which helped Australia bowl out the hosts for 499.

Woefully out-of-form prior to this innings, Hughes struck nine fours and a six during his crucial knock. Bhuvneshwar’s figures were an impressive three for 25.

The UP seamer had Warner caught behind in the first over, though much of the ‘credit’ must go to the batsman who played an irresponsible shot to an away-going delivery.

Bhuvneshwar then had Cowan trapped in-front but this time he was a bit lucky as the ball had pitched outside leg and the batsman had made a big stride forward.

There was no doubt as far as his third wicket was concerned as Bhuvneshwar produced a beauty that held its line before knocking over Smith’s off-stump.

Resuming on a strong 283 for no loss, India were bundled out for the addition of just 216 runs, as Siddle returned with impressive figures of five for 71.

It was due to Siddle’s workmanlike effort that Australia ended the Indian innings within 500 — the hosts were at one point well on course for posting an even bigger total, thanks to debutant Dhawan’s record-breaking knock of 187 and a patient innings by Vijay.

The second new ball did the trick as Siddle and Starc combined to put the brakes on India’s scoring as India lost their last seven wickets for only 87 runs.

The visitors produced a much better effort today, picking up all the wickets, after yesterday’s hammering. In all, 13 wickets fell on the day.

Vijay’s marathon knock came off 317 balls and the Tamil Nadu batsman spent 414 minutes while hitting 19 fours and three sixes. This was the 28-year-old’s third Test ton and interestingly, all his centuries have come against Australia.

Comfortably placed at 384 for three at lunch, India were taken by surprise after the break, with Australia staging a remarkable fightback to reduce the hosts to 431 for seven after Siddle had Ravichandran Ashwin caught behind.

Skipper Clarke’s decision to take the second new ball seven overs after lunch paid dividends, as Starc had Vijay trapped with one that swung in with the batsmen not offering a stroke.

The left-arm pacer had India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with a similar delivery, the swung back sharply and batsman was caught plumb in-front.

Bowling with a scrambled seam, Siddle induced an edge from Ravindra Jadeja to make it 427 for six. The delivery moved away from the left-hander on landing and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin did the rest.

Ashwin followed six runs later, before Virat Kohli (50 not out) along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar arrested the slide helping India score 95 runs in the second session.

At the stroke of lunch, Sachin Tendulkar got out for 37 — caught by Ed Cowan at forward short-leg off leggie Smith.

Resuming on 283 for no loss, Dhawan (187) and Cheteshwar Pujara were the two other batsmen to have been dismissed besides Tendulkar during the morning session.

Published on March 17, 2013
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