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Bangalore Test all set for another nervous finish on final day!

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Ricky Ponting Bangalore 72The Second and Final Test at Bangalore is all poised for a nervous finish with all the three results intact. This was after Australia slipped to 202 for 7 in their second innings after conceding a slender lead of 17 runs. India had a poor day with the bat as the last five wickets fell down for just the 9 runs in the morning session of the fourth day’s play! However, Sachin Tendulkar managed to score his 6th double century, two of which have come up against the Aussies.

India were bowled out just at the stroke of Lunch for 495 with the innings lasting 144.5 overs and a little over 10 and a half hours! Sachin Tendulkar (214 from 363 balls with 22 fours and 2 sixes) was the first to be dismissed bottom edging a cut shot onto his stumps to present debutant Peter George with a maiden Test wicket. Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan failed with the bat and MS Dhoni couldn’t do much than scoring an 87-ball 30 before he stabbed a straighter one from Hauritz to slip. The innings was wrapped up by Nathan Hauritz by getting last man Sreesanth out lbw.

The Aussies got off to a splendid start in their second innings but things changed once Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh were introduced into the bowling attack. Ojha provided the first breakthrough by drifting one in the air to hit the pad of Watson (32 from 58 balls with 4 fours). Katich (24) fell three balls later in the 18th over nicking a Harbhajan off break to MS Dhoni to leave Australia at 58 for 2. By Tea, India ensured that Australia were left defensive with the wicket of Michael Clarke who was beaten comprehensively by the sharp turn from Ojha around middle. Clarke had dragged his backfoot onto the crease line which he didn’t realize to get stumped out. At Tea, Australia were facing the heat at 94 for 3 in 30 overs.

The hosts got the wickets of the left handed Michael Hussey and Marcus North in quick succession after Tea. Hussey (20 from 51 balls) was hit on the pad by a turner from Ojha while North (3) got bowled by a sensational delivery from Harbhajan which drifted in and turned away sharply to hit the off stump.

Australia recoverd after the double blow with Ponting getting support from Paine. Together they were taking Australia close to stumps before MS Dhoni turned to his two pacers for some revere swing. Zaheer Khan delivered immediately with a reversing inswinger which struck the pad of a well set Ricky Ponting who fell after a 117-ball 72 (with 7 fours and a six). The visitors were reduced further to 185 for 7 when Tim Paine (23) edged his flashy drive off Sreesanth to the keeper. By Stumps, Australia moved to 202 for 7 in 65 overs with all hopes wrested on the pair of Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz.

Pragyan Ojha led the Indian bowling with superb economical figures of 25-5-57-3.