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Saturday, November 01, 2008

India vs Australia 3rd Test 2008: Fourth Day Report

Chasing India’s first innings total of 613 for 7, Australia also responded well scoring 577 in their first innings, handing a mere lead of 36 runs on the fourth day of the third test between India and Australia in Delhi. At the end of the day, India’s second innings total reached at 43 for 2 with opener Gamtam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid batting on 21 and 5 respectively.

Almost all of the Australia’s top order batsmen got run in the first innings. The highlight of the fourth day was Australian vice captain Michael Clarke’s excellent century. The middle order batsmen made his 8th test hundred today. His 112-run innings came off 253 balls and he was instrumental behind Australia’s strong respond to India’s big total.

Clarke and Watson started the day’s play with their previous day score on 21 and 4 respectively. Watson got out on 36 after sharing a 73-run stand for the fifth wicket. Brad Haddin could not support Clarke much after getting out on 17, but Cameron White’s 44 helped Clarke a lot to reach his 8th test century. In the end, Mitchell Johnson chipped in with 15 before getting out as the last batsmen of Australian innings.

For India, their in-from pacers could not pick up any wicket, while Anil Kumble and Amit Mishra took 3 and 2 wickets respectively. However, the most successful bowler of Indian innings was occasional off spinner Virender Sehwag who bagged 5 wickets, his first five-haul in his career.

With a 36 run lead of the first innings, India batsmen started their second innings pretty well and were looking to score quickly, but India went back-foot after losing two wickets within 2 overs. India lost their first wicket when opener Virender Sehwag got out on 16 after being playing on off Brett Lee. India sent Ishant Sharma as the night-watchman, but he failed to do his job by getting out on 1 after playing only 2 balls. Australian pacer Stuart Clark picked up Sharma’s wicket.

With only one day left in the match, I think, draw is the most likely result in this test, if there is no miracle happens on the final day of the match. India can move for a sporting declaration, setting up a challenging target for the visiting side. India is now leading by 79 runs. I think, if India can set up a winning target of 250 for Australia handing them 50 overs to bat, it will be a challenging total for the visiting side to chase on. With 1-0 down in the series, I think, Australia will take some risk to win the match, if India can give a challenging total tomorrow. Let us see if the fifth day of the match can entertain the cricket fans.

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