M S Dhoni leads from front as Team India poised for huge win over Australia

Feb 25 2013, 17:56 IST
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SummaryDebutant Moises Henriques delayed the inevitable with a fighting undefeated 75.

to complete formalities finally brought Ishant Sharma in the 76th over of the innings but the pacer failed to break the partnership.

Earlier on, the troika of Ashwin, Harbhajan and Jadeja took full advantage of a crumbling pitch as the hosts reduced the Aussies to 128 for five at tea.

The spinners exploited the deteriorating conditions as they polished the Australian top-half in the post-lunch session as India looked to go for the kill.

Starting the post-lunch session at 34 for one, the Aussie batsmen found it difficult to play a surviving game on a pitch where there were enough footmarks on both sides for the spinners to trouble the batsmen.

Whenever the delivery landed on the rough, there was vicious turn on offer and also the variable bounce made life even more difficult.

Ed Cowan (32), who was trying to graft his way having played 97 balls, was finally adjudged leg before when an Ashwin delivery straightened after pitching and the left-hander wasn't entirely committed to the front foot. Although the batsman didn't look too happy, television replays suggested that the ball would have hit middle stump.

Phillip Hughes's nightmare ended in three balls as he got a delivery from Jadeja that nastily jumped onto him after hitting one of the spots. The ball ballooned off his gloves and Sehwag took the easiest of catches at slip.

Harbhajan, who had an indifferent first innings, bowled far better in the second essay. He was slower through the air and was also getting the required drift.

David Warner, who curbed his natural instincts to score a patient 23 off 61 balls, got a drifter from Harbhajan and was caught plumbed in front of the wicket.

Buoyed by the success, Harbhajan got his second wicket as he cleaned up Matthew Wade (8), who went for a wild sweep while completely missing the line of the delivery.

The final session also started on a bright note when Ashwin got one to turn sharply as Clarke was trapped on the backfoot with a ball keeping low.

With the departure of Australian captain, there were some premature celebrations in the stands.

While Henriques looked confident at one end, Peter Siddle was bowled by Jadeja to make it seven down.

However James Pattinson (11, 26 balls) provided some resistance which also helped Henriques to score a few runs in the process.

Finally, left-hander Pattinson became Ashwin's fourth victim in the second innings as he edged one to Sehwag in

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