Indian batsmen fall like nine pins before a fiery Aussie pace attack in their victory chase at the first test in Melbourne.


Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus (L) celebrates taking the wicket of Virender Sehwag (R) during the first cricket test match, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground December 29, 2011.

Set 292 for victory, a target not bettered at the Melbourne Cricket Ground since South Africa chased down 297 in 1953, India were 117-7 at the time of publishing this article.

Hilfenhaus, who took a career-best five-wicket haul in the first innings, tempted Sehwag with a short and wide delivery that the hard-hitting 33-year-old slashed straight into the gully, where Mike Hussey leapt into the air to snaffle it with both hands.

India are 268 shy of their victory target on a pitch that showed enough in the morning session to encourage the seamers.

Australia were dismissed for 240 runs in their second innings before lunch, after Hussey and James Pattinson resumed on 179-8, with a lead of 230.

Hussey, who survived a dropped catch on 69 by Dravid on day three, rode his luck to beat a big caught behind appeal down the leg side but was soon out for 89, feathering a catch to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni off a stinging Zaheer Khan delivery that moved away slightly.

Paceman Zaheer's joy was cut short when he blew a golden chance to end Australia's innings early by dropping Pattinson on 15 after lumbering in from fine leg to spill a low catch from a skied slog off Umesh Yadav's bowling.

The 21-year-old Pattinson, playing his third test, went on to blast an unbeaten 37 and build an invaluable partnership of 43 with Hilfenhaus. Ishant Sharma wrapped up the innings by having Hilfenhaus caught in the slips for 14.