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Australia fritter away good start as spinners hit back

David Warner and Ed Cowan took the visitors to 109 for no loss at lunch in the first innings on the second day of the third Test against India.

Published: 15th March 2013 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2013 04:59 PM   |  A+A-

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By PTI

India regained much of the ground by claiming four wickets in the final session as Australia failed to capitalise on a century partnership for the opening wicket in the third and penultimate cricket Test here today.

At stumps on the second day, Australia were 273 for seven with comeback man, Steven Smith and Mitchell Starc, batting on 58 and 20 respectively.

While Ravindra Jadeja proved to be the surprise package for India with three wickets, including two in two deliveries, it was Ishant Sharma's late burst that pushed Australia on the backfoot after Ed Cowan and David Warner were back on track with a 139-run partnership for the first wicket after Michael Clarke opted to bat.

His flagging career on the line after a string of failures, Cowan silenced the doubting Thomases with a dogged knock of 86, which consumed 238 balls. His partner, Warner made a fluent 71 off 147 balls with help of nine fours. Cowan found the fence eight times, but will be disappointed at not being able to convert his efforts into a century, despite getting two lives.

The duo's efforts, though, were a bit undone with the loss of seven wickets in the final two sessions of play.

Ishant had Brad Haddin and Moises Henriques bowled to reduce Australia to 244 for six late into the final session of play at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, where the first day was washed out due to a heavy downpour.

Jadeja returned and immediately had Peter Siddle trapped in front of the wicket.

Making a comeback after more than two years in the wilderness, Smith stood firm and showed the right mix of aggression and resolve against the Indian spinners.

After Cowan departed, caught by Virat Kohli off Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip, it was left to Smith to ensure that Australia carry on the fight in this must-win game.



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