ICL: Indian Cricket League

Johnson and Clark keep India to 330


After Irfan Pathan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni had defied them for nearly an hour on the second morning, Australia wrapped up the last four wickets in a hurry to wrest the initiative at the WACA. Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson did the honours, with India subsiding quickly once the 44-run stand for the seventh wicket was snuffed out.

India’s day had started inauspiciously, with Dhoni struck on the shoulder by a bouncer from Brett Lee. There was ice and other treatment and the approach was tentative for quite a few overs after that as Lee and Johnson worked up a nice rhythm in stifling heat.

It was Pathan who decided to up the ante, with a gorgeous off-drive for four off Lee, and Dhoni joined in soon after with one of those typical flays through the off side when Johnson pitched too wide.

With Johnson appearing to tire in the heat, Pathan then flicked an attempted yorker for four before cutting one powerfully wide of point for another boundary. By then, Ricky Ponting had had enough, and Clark came on to replace Lee.

The end was swift. Dhoni was struck on the roll of the pad, and Asad Rauf once again appeared to disregard the bounce in the pitch when he lifted the finger. And there was further drama the next ball when Anil Kumble clipped one off the pads in front of square. Phil Jaques dived forward to take up, but immediately indicated that the ball had bounced first, avoiding any repeat of the controversy that marred the Test in Sydney.

You couldn’t keep Clark out of the action though, and in Johnson’s next over, he dropped Kumble at point, failing to hold on after tumbling to his left. But there was to be no reprieve for India. Pathan was plumb in front to a low full toss, and the first ball of Clark’s next over saw Kumble against drive on the up to point, with Chris Rogers taking a catch diving to his right.

When RP Singh fended off a Johnson bouncer to gully, India had lost four wickets for just two runs in 17 balls. On a pitch that was still great for batting, it looked at least a 100 short.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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