Perth, Jan 18 : Australia need 348 runs to win the Perth Test against India. Chasing a target of 413 runs, Australia were 65 for loss of two wickets in their second innings at close on the third day of the third Test today.
Earlier today, Australian pacer Brett Lee gave the final blow to the Indian innings, as he got the prized wicket of VVS Laxman, wrapping up the Indian total at 294 runs.
Laxman edged a touch short of a good length delivery into the hands of Adam Gilchrist, sending him back to the pavilion at a total of 79 runs. The Indian batting line-up managed to amass a lead of 412 runs over Australia.
Clark gave Australia the much-needed breakthrough as he got the wicket of RP Singh, but not before the latter made his career best score of 30.
RP Singh gave company to the elegant batsman as India consolidated on a solid lead.
Andrew Symonds got the desired breakthrough for his team as he took two quick wickets, claiming skipper Anil Kumble for a duck after he spun a vicious one that got Dhoni by surprise, claiming his wicket.
Dhoni managed to score 38 runs before the ball took the top edge of his bat and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist took a brilliant catch to keep the match from skipping away from his team.
India was on 235 runs for the loss of 8 wickets as RP Singh came in to bat.
The dynamic duo of Laxman and Dhoni powered India past 200 runs and extended the lead over Australia by over 350 runs.
Laxman slammed a brilliant half-century at a time when the team required it the most. The pair milked the bowlers for precious runs and the partnership was studded with hard hitting boundaries, including two massive sixes by Dhoni.
Earlier, Australia's Stuart Clark had plunged the Indian batting into an abyss as he claimed yet another wicket with his deadly pace in the form of Irfan Pathan. he batsman scored 46 runs before Ponting plucked him in a low, left diving catch. India was 160 runs for the loss of six wickets as Dhoni walked in to bat.
India were in dire straits with Mitchell Johnson starting his spell with the wicket of Sourav Ganguly. The batsman edged fuller length delivery into the hands of the wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
The Indian innings ran into a roadblock as Lee took his second wicket of the morning, getting Tendulkar out LBW to a tearing fast delivery.