Alexa

Australia builds big lead over India on day 3

Australia builds big lead over India on day 3

Michael Clarke struck a confident half century as Australia overcame some early losses to build an imposing lead over India on the third day of the first test Friday
Australia went to tea at 248 for five, a 395-run lead on a slow and deteriorating Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket. Clarke was unbeaten 52 with Adam Gilchrist on 1 at the break.
India was dismissed for 196 runs on the second day in reply to Australia's first innings total of 343.
Clarke hit four boundaries and reached his half century off 82 balls in the 63rd over with a well-placed shot through cover for two runs off offspinner Harbhajan Singh.
After Australia lost four top order wickets to sit at 161-4 shortly after tea, Clarke and Andrew Symonds combined to steady the innings with an 82-run, fifth-wicket partnership.
Symonds made a watchful start to his innings before unleashing a series of powerful shots, highlighted by two big sixes off Anil Kumble and Singh, before being trapped lbw by Zaheer Khan shortly before tea.
Singh (2-48) claimed two quick wickets to frustrate the Australians early on, removing Matthew Hayden for 47 in the 11th over of the third day to break up an ominous opening partnership with Jaques, and dismissing captain Ricky Ponting two overs later.
Jaques smashed five boundaries before bringing up his half century with a sweep shot off a Kumble ball for two runs in the second over after lunch. The celebration was short lived as the opener returned a catch to the India captain off the next ball to leave the field on 51.
R.P. Singh (1-45) removed Mike Hussey for 36 a short time later when Sachin Tendulkar got behind a fast moving thick edge at first slip to leave the Australians at 161-4.
Symonds had a lucky escape while on 7 when a scorching Khan ball scattered his stumps, prompting him to start his walk back to the pavilion. Only moments later did he realize the delivery had been ruled a no ball and returned to the wicket to run a single.
Hayden, following a hundred in the first innings, was aggressive against the pacemen Friday and stroked six boundaries from 54 balls before he was caught at long-on by Saurav Ganguly off Singh's slower delivery.
Ponting lasted just seven balls for his 3 runs before Singh induced an edge that was comfortably snapped up by Rahul Dravid at first slip, leaving Australia at 89-2.
India captain Kumble, who took a five-wicket haul in the first innings, was 1-59 from 16 overs at tea and seamer Khan conceded 92 runs and 12 no balls for 1 wicket in his 18 overs.