Australia on top as Hazlewood destroys Indian line-up (Lead Lunch)

Bengaluru, March 7 (IANS) Josh Hazlewood clinched a six-wicket haul as India were dismissed for 274 runs in their second innings on the fourth day of the second cricket Test against Australia here on Tuesday.

Hazlewood had figures of 6/74 while fellow pacer Mitchell Starc and spinner Steve O’Keefe took two wickets each.

For India, Cheteshwar Pujara top scored with 92.

The hosts have set a target of 188 runs for Australia.

Resuming at the overnight score of 213/4, Pujara and Ajinkaya Rahane batted steadily for the first half hour or so.

But the introduction of the second new ball saw a dramatic change in fortunes as Hazlewood and Starc produced a devastating spell which saw five wickets fall in 19 balls.

Rahane was the first to go, almost immediately after his half-century. The Mumbai batsman fell to an astute call by Australian skipper Steven Smith who decided to call for the review after the umpire had given a not out decision to a loud lbw appeal from Starc.

Smith stood vindicated as the third umpire reversed the on-field official’s decision and sent Rahane on his way.

Starc struck again with his very next ball, uprooting Karun Nair’s middle stump with a fast inswinger to send the batsman back to the pavilion with a golden duck.

Wriddhiman Saha walked in to deny Starc his hattrick with an inside edge on to his pads even as the Australians came up with another loud appeal for lbw.

There was more trouble in store for the hosts in the next over. Pujara fell in the 90s for the first time in his career when some extra bounce from a Hazlewwood delivery took the shoulder of his bat for a simple catch to Mitchell Marsh at gully.

Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed only a couple of balls later when a Hazlewood delivery came in sharply after pitching outside the off stump and beat the outside edge of an attempted drive before crashing into the stumps.

Hazlewood completed his six-wicket haul in his next over when Umesh Yadav lofted one to David Warner at mid-off.

Saha and Ishant Sharma then came up with a late partnership to push the hosts’ lead to 187.

Brief scores:

India: 189 & 274 (Cheteshwar Pujara 92, Ajinkya Rahane 52, Lokesh Rahul 51; Josh Hazlewood 6/74) vs Australia (First Innings): 276.

–IANS

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