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India staring at third big defeat in Australia

Indian batting crumbled yet again after a good show by pacer Umesh Yadav, who bagged his maiden fifer, on the second day of the third cricket Test against Australia at the WACA Ground here Saturday.

India, who trail by 120 runs, were down 88 for four in the second innings at stumps with Rahul Dravid batting on 32 and Virat Kohli 21 at the crease after an interesting day of play when 14 wickets fell. 

Indian bowlers did well to restrict Australia to 369 in the first innings after resuming at overnight score of 149 for no loss. Yadav's five for 93 gave India something to cheer about after a dismal performance in the first innings, when they were bundled out for 161.

But the disastrous performance of the Indian batsmen continued inthe second innings also and the top-four were back in the pavilion for a mere 51 runs on board. The batsmen had themselves to blame as they fell playing poor shots while Sachin Tendulkar (8) was given a dubious LBW off youngster Mitchell Starc. 

Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc struck in successive overs to remove openers Gautam Gambhir (14) and Virender Sehwag (10) to leave India rattled at 25 for two.

Tendulkar was unfortunate to be given lbw by umpire Aleem Dar with fast in-swinging delivery from Starc. The hawk eye showed the delivery was going down the leg-side. V.V.S.Laxmam fell for a duck edging to Shaun Marsh at third slip off Ben Hilfenhaus.

Earlier, Yadav's fifer gave India something to cheer about on a dismal tour as Australia were bowled out for 369 in the first innings, in reply to India's 161.

Yadav (5/93) struck thrice in the first session, removing Ed Cowan (74), Marsh (11) and Ricky Ponting (7), as Australia lost all 10 wickets for 155 runs after an excellent 214-run opening stand. Zaheer Khan finished with two for 91 while Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar and part-time spinner Virender Sehwag picked up a wicket each.

Australia resumed the day at 149 for no loss and reached 256 for three at lunch. Dave Warner fell after scoring a whirlwind 180 shortly after the lunch break to spark a batting collapse as Australia lost seven wickets for 79 runs in the second session and finished with a first innings lead of 208 runs. 

Australia were on course for a mammoth score but Yadav struck with an excellent delivery that pitched on good length prompting Cowan to push at it and the left-handed batsmen got an inside onto the pads and the ball rolled into the stumps.

The 214-run stand between Warner and Cowan was the highest by an Australian opening pair since the 223-run stand between Simon Katich and Phil Jaques against the West Indies in Barbados in 2008.

Yadav then snared up Marsh and Ponting in quick succession as Australia slumped from 214 for no loss to 242 for three. Marsh's poor form in the series continued as he was caught at second slip while Ponting was bowled between bat and pad by Yadav.

India could have got rid of Warner in the first session but Kohli dropped a regulation catch at first slip off Zaheer when the left-handed batsman was on 126.

Warner, who hit 20 fours and five sixes, threw away his wicket shortly after the lunch session even when he had Adam Gilchrist's Australian record of a double century off 212 balls within sight. Warner charged Ishant but didn't time it well and was caught at long-on by Yadav. 

Three overs later, Zaheer was finally awarded with the wicket of Australian captain Michael Clarke (18). Zaheer produced an excellent delivery that held its line just enough to get a faint edge of Clarke to wicketkeeper.

Zaheer, who had some exchange of words with Brad Haddin ahead of the Test, dismissed the wicketkeeper caught behind for a duck. Mike Hussey (14) was Vinay Kumar's first Test wicket and Peter Siddle was Yadav's fifth wicket after scoring 30.

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