Melbourne: Third day of first test match between Australia and India become equally poised when Australia getting lead of 230-runs after India suffered a stunning batting collapse but their bowlers fought back brilliantly.
Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting hit half-centuries to rally Australia to 179-8 in its second innings and a 230-run lead over India on day three of their series- opening cricket Test in Melbourne.
Hussey was unbeaten on 79 at stumps with James Pattinson 3 not out on a day when 15 wickets fell for 247 runs. Hussey shared a 115-run partnership with Ponting, who made 60, to rescue the Australians after they slumped to 27-4.
India, seeking its first Test series victory in Australia since it began touring there in 1947, earlier collapsed from 214-3 to be all out for 282 at lunch in reply to the home team’s first innings score of 333.
Recalled Australia paceman Ben Hilfenhaus earlier took 5-75 for his first five-wicket haul in Tests, as India lost seven wickets for 68 runs. Hilfenhaus bowled Dravid for 68 with the second ball of the day and then removed Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ishant Sharma.
Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, who top scored for India with 73, yesterday led the touring team to 214-2 with a 117-run stand, before Tendulkar was removed by Siddle in the final over. Siddle ended India’s innings today by having Ashwin caught behind to finish with 3-63.