Kumble, Sehwag strike before lunch

November 1st, 2008 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) Indian skipper Anil Kumble returned with heavily bandaged left hand to take his first wicket of the series as Australia reached 436 for six at lunch on the fourth day of the third cricket Test at Feroz Shah Kotla here Saturday.Michael Clarke (57) and Cameron White (4) were at the crease, fighting to take Australia closer to India’s first innings total of 613 for seven declared. The visitors now trail by 177 runs.

Kumble (1-71) and Virender Sehwag (4-83) shared a wicket each in the session.

Clarke scored his sixth half-century against India after getting a life, courtesy a dropped catch by Ishant Sharma off Amit Mishra when the Australian vice-captain was on 21 and searching for his first run of the day. Clarke stepped out to launch Mishra but mistimed the shot to find the mid-on fielder. Ishant , though, could not hold on to the catch.

Sehwag, who has been turning the ball a long way and took three Australian wickets Friday, struck after Clarke and Watson scored at a fast clip scoring 57 runs in the first hour.

The part-time spinner turned the ball from outside the off to clip Watson’s leg stump.

But the highlight of the morning session was Kumble’s return to field in the 14th over of the day. The Indian captain, who required 10 stitches on his left little finger, showed courage despite his non-bowling fingers being heavily strapped. On the third day, Kumble injured his finger while attempting a difficult catch of Matthew Hayden in the post lunch session and had to be rushed to the hospital. He could not field for the rest of the day.

The fighter that he is, Kumble has never shied away from his responsibility when the team needs him in the middle and immediately turned his arm after stepping onto the ground.

Kumble, who bowled nine overs on trot, took a blow in the injured hand but returned to take the wicket of Brad Haddin in the same over, who was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Indian skipper’s return brought luck for India as Sehwag struck from the other end, removing Watson.

Seeing the bite in the wicket, Clarke decided to cut loose against Sehwag and tried to unsettle him with attacking shots. He stepped out to hit him for four. He reached his 50 with his fourth four of the 102 ball innings.

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