Defiant half-centuries by Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey helped Australia extend their lead to 230, but late strikes by India helped them shift momentum at the end of the third day of the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.


After being shot out for 282 and conceding 51-run lead at lunch, India fought back with quick wickets in Australia’s second innings.


Umesh Yadav dismissed David Warner, Shaun Marsh and Ed Cowan and Ishant Sharma bowled Michael Clarke to leave Australia reeling at 27 for four, but a solid 115–run stand for the fifth wicket between the senior Australian batsmen Ponting and Hussey helped them recover.


It was India pacer Zaheer Khan who provided India the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing Ponting for 60, and soon, he sent Brad Haddin back to the pavilion.


However, Australian hopes for a big total were kept alive by a fine unbeaten knock of 79 by Hussey.


Australia reached 179 for eight at stumps with Hussey and James Pattinson (3*) at the crease.


Earlier in the day, resuming at 214 for three, India lost their final seven wickets for mere 68 runs this morning.