M S Dhoni leads from front as Team India poised for huge win over Australia

Ashwin struck with the last ball before lunch. He invited Watson to play forwarded but ball took off the surface to hit the shoulder of his bat as Sehwag took the catch. However the post lunch session spelt doom for the visitors as they lost four top-order batsmen during the session.

Henriques faced 124 balls hitting six fours and two huge sixes -- one each off Ashwin and Harbhajan. The Portuguese born all-rounder used his feet well against the spinner and also defended well when it mattered.

It was extremely frustrating final hour for the Indians as a desperate Dhoni in his bid to complete formalities finally brought Ishant Sharma in the 76th over of the innings but the pacer failed to break the partnership.

Earlier on, the troika of Ashwin, Harbhajan and Jadeja took full advantage of a crumbling pitch as the hosts reduced the Aussies to 128 for five at tea.

The spinners exploited the deteriorating conditions as they polished the Australian top-half in the post-lunch session as India looked to go for the kill.

Starting the post-lunch session at 34 for one, the Aussie batsmen found it difficult to play a surviving game on a pitch where there were enough footmarks on both sides for the spinners to trouble the batsmen.

Whenever the delivery landed on the rough, there was vicious turn on offer and also the variable bounce made life even more difficult.

Ed Cowan (32), who was trying to graft his way having played 97 balls, was finally adjudged leg before when an Ashwin delivery straightened after pitching and the left-hander wasn't entirely committed to the front foot. Although the batsman didn't look too happy, television replays suggested that the ball would have hit middle stump.

Phillip Hughes's nightmare ended in three balls as he got a delivery from Jadeja that nastily jumped onto him after hitting one of the spots. The ball ballooned off his gloves and Sehwag took the easiest of catches at slip.

... contd.

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