Bangalore: Chasing a huge target of 457 runs, India was struggling at 105 for six against Australia at the end of the fourth day of the first Test at Bangalore. Rahul Dravid was unbeaten on 47 runs and Irfan Pathan was not out on 7 runs at the draw of stumps. After being bowled out for 228 in their second innings, the Australians struck early blows at the start of India's second innings. The Indian openers were sent back to the pavilion in quick succession. First to go was Virender Sehwag, who was trapped leg before wicket by Glenn McGrath for a duck. Then Jason Gillespie struck Akash Chopra on the pads to win another lbw verdict. Chopra made 5 runs and India were reduced to 7 for two in the fourth over. Batting crumbles More disaster was awaiting the Indians. Captain Sourav Ganguly, who had faced just five balls, got into a mix up with Rahul Dravid and was run for five. Shane Warne added to India's misery when he trapped V V S Laxman lbw with his first ball for three runs. At 19 for 4, it seemed the Australians would force the inevitable with a day to spare. But Dravid and Yuvraj Singh added 62 runs for the fifth wicket before McGrath had Yuvraj caught behind by Adam Gilchrist for 27 runs. India were 81 for five when Yuvraj was dismissed. Five runs later, India lost their third wicket. Parthiv Patel, who had held out at the crease for two hours in the first innings, fell leg before wicket to Warne for 4. At stumps on the fourth day, Dravid was unbeaten on 47 runs and Irfan Pathan was not out on 7 runs. Turbanator bites Earlier today, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh picked up five wickets to help India restrict the visitors to 228 in the second innings. Resuming at 127 for 4, Australia reached 204 for seven at lunch with a quickfire knock from Shane Warne. Harbhajan Singh dismissed first innings centurion Michael Clarke and the well-set Damien Martyn to put the brakes on the Aussies. Both Clarke (17) and Martyn (45) fell while trying to get on top of Harbhajan. The former groped forward in an effort to negotiate the spin but ended up with a bat-pad catch to Aakash Chopra at short leg. Martyn had done well against the off spinner and had carefully avoided the fate of Clarke until he stepped out and played an uppish flick for a simple catch to substitute Mohammad Kaif at short midwicket. Till that moment, India had done well with 20 runs conceded in 15 overs to upset the visitors' plan of an early declaration. Cavalier batting Warne then swung the tide in Aussies favour with his cavalier batting. In the very first over he faced Harbhajan, Warne swept the Turbanator's off break to square leg boundary with devastating effect. One more similar sweep, and the offie went back on the defensive. Harbhajan immediately dropped his attacking line and switched to 7-2 leg side field. Still, he pitched outside the off and was driven through the vacant cover region by Warne. Warne finally fell to a brilliant catch by Yuvraj Singh off the bowling of Harbhajan for 31. Gillespie also went out in similar fashion for 8. Kasprowicz flicked the ball high up and was caught by Dravid giving Harbhajan his eleventh wicket in the match.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics : Cricket