x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

High five for Mishra

The leg-spinner Amit Mishra takes five wickets on his debut to help dismiss Australia for 268 and put India in command on the third day of the second Test.

India's Amit Mishra made the most of his opportunity with the captain Anil Kumble ruled out of the second Test against Australia through injury.
India's Amit Mishra made the most of his opportunity with the captain Anil Kumble ruled out of the second Test against Australia through injury.

MOHALI // The leg-spinner Amit Mishra grabbed five wickets on debut to help dismiss Australia for 268 and put India in command on the third day of the second Test today. India built on their 201-run first innings lead by racing to 100 for no wicket at the close after declining to enforce the follow-on in their bid to force victory on a dry Mohali pitch. Virender Sehwag was 53 not out and Gautam Gambhir was on 46 as India stretched their lead to 301 runs.

Mishra, 25, who was playing only because of skipper Anil Kumble's absence due to injury, took five for 71 to bowl out the visitors soon after tea as Australia never really recovered. Discarded after playing in a one-day series in Dhake five years ago, the spinner cashed in on his first India chance. Australia, reduced to 102 for four overnight after a top order collapse, lost three more wickets to slump to 167 for seven before lunch as their batsmen wilted against pace and spin.

The all-rounder Shane Watson led a splendid recovery by adding 73 runs for the eighth wicket with the fast bowler Brett Lee, who scored 35. Mike Hussey, who top-scored with 146 in the drawn first Test in Bangalore, made 54, his 10th Test fifty. Mishra, whose twin strikes on Saturday evening had started Australia's problems, was accurate and troubled the batsmen with sharp turn and well-flighted googlies.

Hussey looked set to pull Australia out of trouble until he fell first in the morning, succumbing to a splendid spell of reverse-swing bowling by the paceman Ishant Sharma with the old ball. Hussey, 20, took a couple off the bowler to reach his fifty but was removed two balls later with a delivery which moved away. Hussey edged the first one past slip for four but gave a tame catch next up to the wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Australia soon lost Brad Haddin (9) and Cameron White (5), bowled by the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Mishra respectively. Watson and Lee settled down quickly to frustrate the bowlers and also saw off the early threat of the second new ball. The all-rounder Watson survived a close leg before appeal against Sharma on 39 but played fluently, hitting 10 fours and a six against Mishra to midwicket in his four-hour stay at the crease.

Harbhajan finally provided the breakthrough when he forced Lee to edge a low catch to Rahul Dravid at slip. Watson had added 22 runs for the ninth wicket with Mitchell Johnson when Mishra trapped him in front with a delivery that held the line after pitching on leg stump. *Reuters