India suffer batting collapse, Hilfenhaus bags maiden fifer (Lead)

December 28th, 2011 - 9:44 am ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 28 (IANS) India suffered a batting collapse losing seven wickets for 68 runs before being bundled out for 268 runs in the first innings, in reply to Australia 333, at lunch on the third day of the first cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Wednesday.

Fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus wrecked the India’s middle-order with his maiden five-wicket haul (5/75) to give Australia a vital 51 runs first innings lead. Peter Siddle bagged three for 63 while the young James Pattinson got two for 55.

Resuming at overnight 214 for three, Indian batsmen struggled against the pace and swing generated by the Australian fast bowlers during the morning session. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin offered some resistance with his quickfire 31 off 35 balls.

Hilfenhaus dismissed Rahul Dravid, who failed to add to his overnight score of 68, with the second ball of the day and then removed Virat Kohli (11) with the second ball of his second spell.

Hilfenhaus found some good movement with the old ball, something that had been a problem for him before he was dropped after the disastrous Ashes series.

He was effective with the new ball as well as he drew India captain Mahendra SIngh Dhoni (6) into a tentative prod and edging a ball to Mike Hussey in the gully.

V.V.S. Laxman (2), a thorn for Australia in the past, edged Siddle to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to give the hosts the much needed relief.

Hilfenhaus achieved his first ever five-wicket haul as he claimed his fourth wicket of the morning removing stubborn nightwatchman Ishant Sharma (11).

Pattinson castled Zaheer Khan leaving India struggling at 9/259 still 74 runs behind Australia’s first innings score. But a heroic 23-run stand for the last wicket between Ashwin and Umesh Yadav (2 not out) trimmed Australia’s lead. Siddle finally removed Ashwin caught behind just before lunch.

Ahswin was lucky to survive a leg-before appeal, while on seven, off Pattinson. Video replays suggested the ball would have likely struck middle and leg stumps but the batsman survived since Decision Review System (DRS) was not being used in the series.

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