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Australia vs India, 3rd Test at Perth, , Jan 16 2008 - Ball by Ball Commentary

3rd Test, Perth, January 16 - 19, 2008, India tour of Australia
330 & 294
(T:413) 212 & 340

India won by 72 runs

Player Of The Match
28, 2/63, 46 & 3/54
AUS 2nd Innings
Full commentary

Fantastic scenes at the WACA, as the Indians get into a raucous huddle, the national flag waving high above spirited shoulders. What a fantastic advertisement for Test cricket this match has been. India beat the favourites inside four days, one to rank as one of their most memorable overseas.

India become the first side to beat Australia in Australia for over four years, since their win in Adelaide in 2003. And the first to beat Australia in Perth for ten years.

Where to begin? Whew. Its been a gripping, emotional four days of cricket from both sides, sessions swinging one way, then the other, but not once has the quality of cricket been anything but endearing. Some great batting, some exceptional bowling, some stunners held and some gone begging. India can feel very proud of this win, coming here as underdogs and expected by many to struggle on what was labeled a fiery Perth pitch.

But as at Trent Bridge and Johannesburg, their seamers excelled and set up this victory. Not to forget the contributions from VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and a few cameos here and there. Sehwag's two wickets today, Irfan Pathan's stellar performance, coming into the side and scoring 74 runs, starting off twice at the dying stages of the day, and five wickets. RP Singh's first-innings bowling, the excellent display from young Ishant Sharma. All helped in halting Australia's quest for a record 17th consecutive win. Like India did in 2001.

The visitors have come back into the series to make it 2-1 going to Adelaide. Australia did well in bursts, and you know they'll come back hard in the fourth and final Test. They were hurt by a slow over-rate and a couple hard decisions today. There were good performances from Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark, especially, while Brett Lee was, as always, consistent. The team was let down by the batting, especially in the first innings. Michael Clarke played a good innings today.

Over for the post-match presentation. Ricky Ponting is disappointed but takes heart from "a terrific Test match". He blames the batting and praises India's bowling. He's a bit surprised how the pitch played. Believes there was just enough assistance but maintains his batsmen didn't step up. He backs the decision to play four pace bowlers, despite the flop that Shaun Tait was. Doesn't comment much on the events of the week leading in to this Test, but feels Matthew Hayden could come back for Adelaide.

Now its Anil Kumble, the winning captain. Praises the boys "for a brilliant effort when no one gave us a chance". Appreciates how well the team did under pressure before and during this Test, singling out the batting and the decision to bring on Sehwag today. Thanks his young bowling attack, who performed "with intensity" and controlled their swing, and is glad it was a team effort. Is confident of winning in Adelaide, and says India will go there with all the confidence.

The Man-of-the-Match is deservedly Pathan. A great comeback match for him in Australia, and he's all smiles, just glad he got a chance here. Is pleased with the way he bowled here, and is happy the runs helped. Credits hard work for his return to the side, admits he lost his way with the ball last year, and believes its all coming together well. The mental strength is key, he says, calling himself "a bowler who can bat". Good man, that Pathan.

So that brings us to the end of a fantastic Test. India achieve a back-to-the-wall victory to come back from a tough loss in Sydney.

Thanks for tuning in again and I hope you enjoyed this match as much as I did. Do join us for the fourth Test, starting in Adelaide on January 24 at 10:30 local, 00:00 GMT. On behalf of my co-commentator for the first three days, Jenny Thompson, and all of us at Cricinfo, this is Jamie Alter signing off. Goodbye for now!

Singh to Tait, OUT

all over, as RP finally nails a yorker to beat bat and cannon into middle and off! India have achieved a great Test victory, beating Australia by 72 runs!

Shaun Tait b Singh 4 (8b 1x4 0x6 15m) SR: 50
Singh to Tait, 1 wide

too short and wide outside off stump, Tait leaves and wide called for height

RP changes the angle by shifting around the stumps. Packed slip cordon.

Singh to Tait, no run

short of a length on middle and leg, Tait makes room and pokes to point

Singh to Tait, FOUR runs

short one, Tait takes evasive action and just edges wide of gully and the slips to get off the mark

Singh to Johnson, 1 run

well played Johnson, steering one wide of backward point to raise a maiden Test fifty, a classy innings under immense pressure and the WACA applauds

Singh to Johnson, 2 runs

short of a length on middle and leg, worked wide of short fine leg, he wants two and Ganguly cant prevent it, despite a decent throw back to RP

end of over 865 runs
AUS: 332/9CRR: 3.86 
Shaun Tait0 (5b)
Mitchell Johnson47 (78b 5x4 2x6)
Irfan Pathan 16-2-54-3
RP Singh 21-4-87-1
Pathan to Tait, no run

goes across him off a shorter length and he withdraws the bat in time

Pathan to Tait, no run

stands and pokes at one going across him, edging along the ground to the right of Dravid at third slip

There's swing, if you hit the right areas. Tait takes guard, leg stump. The field is up.

Pathan to Johnson, 1 run

stands his ground and drives in the air, to the man at long-off

Pathan to Johnson, FOUR runs

lovely golf shot, a tee-off to one in the slot, hit through the line, down the track

Pathan to Johnson, no run

swing and a miss, a good old eyes-shut slog across the line, beaten by swing

Pathan to Johnson, no run

hits a length and shapes the other way, as a leaden-footed Johnson feels for it, away from his body, and then stops on the shot

Back to Johnson. He's batted excellently. Pathan runs in, the crowd alive. Dressing rooms on their feet.

end of over 851 run
AUS: 327/9CRR: 3.84 
Shaun Tait0 (3b)
Mitchell Johnson42 (74b 4x4 2x6)
RP Singh 21-4-87-1
Irfan Pathan 15-2-49-3
Singh to Tait, no run

good delivery, on the stumps and Tait gets back to keep it out

Singh to Tait, no run

short of a length, 134ks, angling away and thats well left

Three slips, gully, short leg on

Singh to Tait, no run

full toss outside off stump, the yorker gone wrong, defended to cover

You have to see the mood to believe it. Crowd buzzing. Both Indian and Australian.

Singh to Johnson, 1 run

tapped wide of midwicket for one, getting Tait on strike

Singh to Johnson, no run

beaten, Johnson driving hard at a full one and failing to make contact

Singh to Johnson, no run

edged and dropped! Johnson chases one, gets a thick outside-edge, it flies to the left of Dravid at first slip, clutching with one hand and he lets it out

end of over 842 runs • 1 wicket
AUS: 326/9CRR: 3.88 
Mitchell Johnson41 (71b 4x4 2x6)
Irfan Pathan 15-2-49-3
RP Singh 20-4-86-1

Pathan celebrates but what a partnership between these two. Clark defied the attack as it turned lackluster. India one wicket away from victory. The last man, Shaun Tait, comes out.

Pathan to Clark, OUT

edged and gone, as Clark flashes at a wide one and nicks through to an ecstatic Dhoni, moving to his right, and India breathe a sigh of relief!

Stuart Clark c †Dhoni b Pathan 32 (35b 3x4 1x6 55m) SR: 91.42

Edgbaston, circa 2005, anyone?

Pathan to Johnson, 1 run

full, some movement, Johnson drives and inside-edges to fine leg

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