India on top as Test heads to a riveting finale
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 12th October 2010
Ricky Ponting defied rampaging Indian bowlers to give Australia an outside chance of winning the Test and levelling the series. At stumps, the visitors had put up 202 for 7 in their second innings, an overall lead of 185. The play was called off early, with two overs left, because of bad light.
On a fast deteriorating wicket, the Australian second innings collapse was akin to their shoddy show at the same stage in the opening Test at Mohali. But, in this case, it had more to do with the wicket rather than the batsmen. And with the Australian wickets falling in a canter at one stage, it seemed easy pickings for India.
Ponting was involved in two crucial partnerships in his side's second innings -- a 61-run fourth-wicket stand with Michael Hussey and a sixth-wicket stand with Tim Paine that yielded 50. Both the partnerships helped Australia to a considerable extent. Zaheer Khan removed the Australian skipper as he caught Ponting plumb in front of the wicket. Ponting's 117-ball knock was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and one over it.
Pragyan Ojha was India's most successful bowler, with figures of three for 57, while Harbhajan Singh chipped in with two wickets.
Earlier, India took a slender 17-run first innings lead having batted the entire first session. The highlight of the Indian innings was yet another double hundred from Sachin Tendulkar's blade. But his departure followed a familiar collapse of the Indian tail, that witnessed the last five wickets falling for the addition of just nine runs. The home team was eventually dismissed for 495 in their first essay, having batted for 144.5 overs.
And they have an arduous task ahead of them on the final day.