India fall for lowest tour score


PERTH Ben Hilfenhaus took 4-43 to help dismiss India for 161 shortly after tea on the first day of the third Test against Australia at the Waca yesterday.

Earlier, Australian paceman Peter Siddle struck twice just before tea to leave India reeling at 144 for six just as the tourists looked to be battling their way back.

Siddle, who had played his part as the hosts ripped through the Indian top order on a hot and humid morning, despatched Virat Kohli and VVS Laxman after they had united to put on 67 for the fifth wicket.

Debutant quick bowler Vinay R Kumar will resume on five not out at the start of the final session of the day alongside his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (4).

Australia, 2-0 up in the four-match series, won the toss and chose to bowl with a four-strong pace attack on a lively green WACA wicket having gambled on dispensing with the services of spinner Nathan Lyon.

The decision was vindicated as Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc and Siddle removed Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir at a cost of 73 runs by lunch.

Kohli and Laxman, however, battened down the hatches and looked like easing India to some sort of respectability at tea before Siddle hit back.

Kohli had settled in and inched his way to 44 when he threw his wicket away, driving a fullish delivery towards point where David Warner swooped forward to take the catch.

Laxman, once the nemesis of Australian bowlers, was gone the next over for 31 after nicking a short ball to Michael Clarke in the slips.

Hilfenhaus had started the day by removing Sehwag for a duck in the fourth over and later returned to have his fellow opener Gambhir caught behind to end the openers stubborn resistance after an 82-ball 31.

Gambhirs departure was the second of two wickets just before lunch that swung the balance of the match very much to the Australians.

In the previous over, Harris had taken the wicket of Tendulkar lbw for 15 after the batting maestro had made a bright start to his 22nd attempt to secure his 100th international century with three well-struck boundaries.

The morning session was punctuated with loud lbw appeals but Dravid, famously known as The Wall of Indian Cricket, continued his recent trend of being bowled out, this time for nine runs.

Siddle made an immediate impact by firing a yorker through Dravids defence, the ball coming off the bat, onto the Indians boots and then the stumps.

It was the fourth time in five innings in the series that Dravid had been bowled the fifth if you count the Siddle dismissal that was ruled out for a no ball in the first test in Melbourne.

India also chose to go with four quicks, handing right-armer Vinay Kumar his debut in place of spinner Ravi Ashwin in a side otherwise unchanged from the first two tests.