Updated: 29 January 2008 16:13 IST

An entire nation held its breath and then exhaled to cheer as India become the first team from sub-continent to post a win against Australia at Perth.


An entire nation held its breath and then exhaled to cheer as India become the first team from the sub-continent to post a win at Perth.

Indian captain Anil Kumble hailed one of the greatest wins of his career after his side again halted a record Australian winning streak with a famous 72-run victory in the third Test at the WACA Ground on Saturday.

Set 413 to win an unprecedented 17th Test in succession, Australia were dismissed for 340 on the fourth day.

The home side never really threatened to pull off what needed to be the second biggest run chase in 131 years of Test cricket.

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Action replay: Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

In the wake of India's heartbreaking loss in the second Test in Sydney and at a venue where they had never won before, Kumble said it was one of the sweetest victories he had experienced in 124 Tests.

"Considering the fact that no visiting team gets any sort of chance coming into Perth and being 2-0 down, it was a great effort and a brilliant victory," he said.

"This is right at the top... if you look back at whatever victories I've been involved in both at home and away this will probably rank as one of the best."

Australia's previous Test defeat was against England during its ill-fated Ashes campaign in August 2005, at Trent Bridge.

India still trail 2-1 in the four-Test series and Australia have retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with the final Test to be played in Adelaide from Thursday. And Kumble said his team was determined to level the series.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting was philosophical about the end of his team's winning streak.

"That is disappointing, but is has been a pretty good run," he said.

"Sixteen matches in a row is a great achievement, it would have been great to win one more, to win another 10 would have been nice, but we haven't been good enough in this game.

"The run was always going to come to an end at some stage, we just haven't played a brand of cricket that has been good enough to win this Test match."

He admitted the Australians misread the pitch in picking four fast bowlers and said they paid the price for only making 212 in their first innings.

An inventive piece of captaincy by Kumble ensured India would win its first ever Test at the WACA.

Kumble's surprise decision to throw the ball to part-time spinner Virender Sehwag just before tea on Saturday proved masterful, as he claimed two crucial wickets in his first eight balls.

The recalled opener broke the threatening sixth-wicket partnership between Adam Gilchrist (15) and Michael Clarke (81) by bowling the former around his legs with just his third ball.

It ended a 50-run stand between the pair and Sehwag (2-24) then had Brett Lee caught at mid-off by VVS Laxman in his next over for a duck as Australia slumped to 229 for seven.

Any hope the Australians had was extinguished when an advancing Clarke was beaten by Kumble and stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

There was a late flurry from tailenders Mitchell Johnson, who was bowled by a Kumble no-ball and then dropped twice as he lashed out on his way to an unbeaten 50, and Stuart Clark.

However, man-of-the-match Irfan Pathan (3-54) capped a fine return to Test cricket when he had Clark caught behind for 32.

When RP Singh (2-95) clean bowled number 11 Shaun Tait for four, the Indians had recorded one of their best wins in recent years and it sparked boisterous celebrations.

Spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped for the third Test to make way for Pathan in what proved to be an inspired decision, and team manager Chetan Chauhan immediately dashed to the middle carrying Indian flags.

The home side initially made steady early progress after resuming at 65 for two, but young paceman Ishant Sharma started their demise when he claimed the prized wicket of Ponting for 45, caught by Rahul Dravid at first slip, to end a 74-run stand with Mike Hussey.

It was due reward for the emerging Sharma, who bowled an impressive nine-over spell.

He used his height to gain good bounce and troubled Ponting consistently as he bowled high pace off cutters that continually jagged back into the batsman.

RP Singh then trapped Hussey LBW for 46 before Andrew Symonds was unlucky to be adjudged LBW off an inside edge for 12. Australia were 177 for five and in a position from which they could not recover.

India broke Australia's previous record 16-Test winning streak when it notched a memorable victory in Kolkata in 2001.

Australia hadn't lost a home Test since December 2003, also against India in Adelaide, and was last beaten at the WACA by the West Indies in 1997.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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