O’Keefe grabs six wickets as India collapse

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Australia unchanged for second India Test
Shukriya Pakistan

PARIS: Australia’s left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe dispatched six Indian batsmen in just 24 balls after lunch as the hosts collapsed to 105 all out in the opening Test in Pune Friday.

India were at 94-3 on day two before O’Keefe turned on the style against a stunned Indian batting order that offered no resistance as he raced to career-best figures of 6-35.

The 32-year-old’s stunning exploits saw India concede a 155-run first innings lead — with captain Virat Kohli was dismissed for a rare duck — and put Australia in charge of the first match of the four-Test series.

Kohli, who has hit four double centuries since July last year, walked after just two deliveries for his first duck in a Test since against England in August 2014.

Indian opener Lokesh Rahul top-scored for the home side with a gritty 64 as eight Indian batsmen failed to get into double figures.

India went to lunch 70-3 and got to 94 without further loss before O’Keefe, who had been largely ineffective during the morning session, swung control of the match to Australia.

He claimed three wickets in his 10th over to leave the Indian middle-order rattled at India’s newest Test venue, which has seen considerable turn from the beginning.

The wickets of Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane (13) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) broke India’s batting back and there was no looking back for O’Keefe in just his fifth ever Test.

India lost their last seven batsmen for a paltry 11 runs to post a first-innings total of just 105. Earlier, Mitchell Starc had claimed the prized scalp of Kohli.

Starc, who hit a gritty 61 in Australia’s first innings of 260, took two wickets in the space of three deliveries as the tourists made decisive early inroads into the Indian batting line-up.

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