Mitchell Johnson takes his sixth Test five-for as India lose last six wickets for 51 runs on day three in Mohali.
|Hilfenhaus’ three wickets left Indian hopes looking shaky after the hosts had reached a commanding position [AFP]|
Ben Hilfenhaus took three wickets in the final session of day four to leave India reeling at 55 for four in pursuit of 216 to win the first Test against Australia.
Hilfenhaus dismissed Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina in taking three for 22 in seven overs to turn the match on its head after India had looked certain to cruise to victory.
Indian pacers Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan skittled the tourists for 192 in their second innings before Hilfenhaus gave Australia considerable hope.
Australia, who had a slender 23-run first innings lead in Mohali, resumed on a positive note on Monday morning but Sharma removed three top order batsmen and Khan, who took five wickets in the first innings, mowed down the lower order to put India in command.
Shane Watson top-scored for Australia with a 59-ball 56 but only three of his teammates managed double-digit scores.
Sharma and Khan got three wickets apiece, while spinner Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha shared the rest.
Watson dominated an 87-run opening partnership with Simon Katich’s 37 before Sharma, who missed much of the first innings action with a troubled knee, struck.
In his eventful third over, Sharma removed Watson with his first delivery, had Ricky Ponting caught at square leg for four off his fifth ball and Michael Clarke dismissed with the next, though umpire Billy Bowden ruled the latter a no-ball after consulting the third umpire.
The lanky paceman returned to send down a sharp bouncer in his next over which an evasive Clarke could only glove to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for caught-behind.
India’s VVS Laxman may be forced to bat lower down the order again after he came in at number 10 in the first innings because of a bad back.