Yadav picks up three; Cowan, Ponting 50s take Australia to 170/3 (Second Lead)

December 26th, 2011 - 1:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 26 (IANS) Indian pacer Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets but impressive half-centuries by debutant Ed Cowan and an under-pressure Ricky Ponting took Australia to 170 for three in the first innings at tea on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Monday.

Cowan was batting on 58 with Australian skipper Michael Clarke on seven at the tea break. Cowan and the veteran Ponting (62) added a valuable 113 runs for the third wicket after Australia were reduced to 46 for two.

India’s veteran pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and the Ishant Sharma went wicketless. Ishant, however, did create a bit of a scare but Yadav did most of the damge.

Clarke made a brave decision to bat first, despite heavy overnight rains, and Australian openers Cowan and David Warner (37) weathered a difficult first hour before settling down for 46-run opening stand.

Resuming at 68 for two after lunch break, Australia scored quickly to reach 170 for three.

The spotlight during the second session’s play was on Ponting, who was struggling to retain his place in the side. Ponting was immediately struck on his helmet grille trying to pull a ball that then almost dropped onto his stumps.

The former Australian captain, however, quickly settled down and hit back at his detractors with a crafty half-century. His balance and timing were superb, perhaps helped by last week’s batting camp. Ponting fell for 62, caught at second slip off a Yadav delivery that moved away from him and induced a sliced bat.

Cowan was cautious in his approach in both the sessions and allowed Ponting to take charge in the second. They ran well between the wickets and their 113-run stand came off 200 balls.

Earlier, Australia made a determined start after both Cowan and David Warner (37) batted well in tandem for their 46-run stand that came off 79 balls. Both the batsmen had contrasting approach. Cowan was watchful while Warne was forceful.

But a brief rain delay broke Warner’s concentration and the dimunitive opener was caught behind gloving a short ball from Yadav’s first delivery after the break.

Marsh survived just six balls before pushing hard at Yadav delivery outside off for an easy catch.

Related Stories

Posted in Uncategorized |

Subscribe