Australia obtained a 51-run lead at lunch on the third day after Ben Hilfenhaus’ maiden five-wicket haul bundled out India for 282 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India lost eight wickets for 68 runs.
Hilfenhaus set the tone early on the second ball of the day, dismissing Indian middle-order mainstay Rahul Dravid for 68. Dravid failed to add any run to his overnight score.
Right-arm pacer Peter Siddle soon added more to India’s woes, when he had VVS Laxman caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for two.
India slipped from 214 for three to 258 for eight as Hilfenhaus bagged the key wickets of Virat Kohli (11) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6), along with nightwatchman Ishant Sharma.
Sharma, though, played his part well facing 69 balls for 11 runs which didn’t include a single boundary.
Zaheer Khan was bowled by James Pattinson when he went for an ambitious drive exposing all his stumps.
Towards the end of the session, Ravichandran Ashwin hit two sixes and a boundary in trying to lessen the lead.
Brief Scores: Australia 333 (Ed Cowan 68, Ricky Ponting 62, Peter Siddle 41; Zaheer Khan 4 for 77, R Ashwin 3 for 81, Umesh Yadav 3 for 106) lead India 282 (Sachin Tendulkar 73, Rahul Dravid 68, Virender Sehwag 67; Ben Hilfenhaus 5 for 75, Peter Siddle 3 for 63) by 51 runs.