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Mumbai Test: India Faces Tough Task To Save Last Game Email this page
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Mumbai, Nov. 4(NNN): A topsy-turvy day when 18 wickets fell like nine pins for 290 runs Indian cricket team was left with huge task of saving the fourth and final Test against the visiting Australia as it conceded a first innings lead of 99 runs on a fast deteriorating Wankhede Stadium pitch.
India were five for no loss in their second innings against Australia on the second day of the fourth Test at Mumbai. Gautam Gambhir was not out on one and Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on 4.

The tourists were all out for 203, a lead of 94 at the close, after India were skittled for 104 - their lowest total to Australia in Mumbai.

However, Australia gained the upper hand in the Test as wickets tumbled on a bowler-friendly pitch.

Indian batsman put on another dismal batting display but the spinners helped India to fight back on a day, which saw the fall of 18 wickets.

Damien Martyn, who made 55, is the highest individual scorer in the match so far. Anil Kumble picked up five wickets.

Anil Kumble notched up his 27th five-wicket haul and Australian debutant Nathan Hauritz recorded 3-16 as 18 wickets fell in the day.

Damien Martyn was the only man to pass 50, making a determined 55.

India deserved credit for forcing their way back into the game after such a torrid time with the bat as they aimed for a consolation win in the series.

And if there had not been a number of schoolboy errors in the field by India, Australia could have been dismissed for a much lesser total.

It was India who were batting when play resumed early to make up for some of the lost overs after the first-day's virtual washout.

They resumed on 22-2 but it was not long before batting star Sachin Tendulkar was heading back to the pavilion after edging to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchirst to become Jason Gillespie's first of three scalps in the day.

VVS Laxman departed in similar fashion for one to leave India on 31-4 and Mohammad Kaif was out lbw for two as Gillespie recorded 4-29 from 12 overs.

Then came the turn of debutant Hauritz, who was only called into theTest team because world Test-wicket holder Shane Warne had broken his thumb in training.

The spinner made a dream debut, taking a wicket in his first over courtesy of Kumble, who spooned a shot to captain Ricky Ponting.

Hauritz followed that up by dismissing Harbhajan Singh for 14 and Murali Kartik for a duck.

Kasprowicz continued his good form in the series by snapping up the other two wickets, bowling debutant Dinesh Karthik for 10 and uprooting Zaheer Khan's middle stump for a duck as stand-in captain Dravid was stranded on 31.

Australia got off to a bright start in their reply but opener Justin Langer fell for 12, after being dropped on 11 by Virender Sehwag, when he edged to Dravid.

Captain Ricky Ponting soon followed but he was harshly judged lbw by umpire Aleem Dar for 11.

And after a hesitant start, Matthew Hayden began to find his range with three sixes before he was dismissed for 35, a great catch at short leg by Mohammad Kaif.

The wickets kept on tumbling after tea, with Simon Katich the first to go, caught by Kaif after the faintest of contact with his glove.

And Michael Clarke, who was dropped by Sehwag on 15, finally succumbed when he danced down the wicket and was stumped by wicket-keeper debutant Karthik for 17.

Up stepped Adam Gilchrist and he showed no mercy but his 18-ball cameo, in which he scored 26, including three fours and six ,came to an end when he walked after another good catch by Kaif.

The tail was polished off with Kartik recording his best Test figures of 4-44.

The Indians were bundled out just before lunch. This is their lowest ever Test total at the Wankhede stadium and the fourth lowest against the Aussies. The previous low scores were 58, 67 and 98 made in 1947/48 against the World Champions.

Jason Gillespie was on fire at the start of day two, as he picked up three Indian wickets in the first half-an-hour of play.

The hosts had won the toss and elected to bat, after unseasonal rains delayed the start of play on the first day on Wednesday. Barely 11 overs were bowled on the first day of the fourth Test between the two teams, with ending closing with 22 for 2 at stumps.

In their second innings India safely negotiated three overs to end five without loss.

Australia have already won the series 2-0, after a no-win streak of 25 years.

* Brief Scores: = India first innings: 104 all out. = Australia first innings: 203 all out.

The Two Teams:

India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Mohammad Kaif, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist (wicketkeeper), Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Hauritz.

* Umpires: Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), Aleem Dar (Pakistan).


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