New Delhi, Mar 23 (IBNS) India took a slim four runs lead after they were restricted to 266 for eight in the fist innings by offie Nathan Lyon's maiden five-wicket haul on the second day of the fourth cricket Test against Australia at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Saturday.
India squandered away the 108-run start given by Murali Vijay (57) and Cheteshwar Pujara (52) and lower order took the home team past the Australian total of 262.
Nathan Lyon had carved out the Indian middle order to rock the hosts on the back foot. The Australian off-spinner denied India any opportunity to build partnerships in the middle as he claimed five for 94.
Pujara, who opened the innings with Vijay, batted fluently. The duo put together 59 runs before lunch was called. The partnership continued to flourish in the second session. Scoring at a quicker pace than his partner, Pujara was the first to reach the fifty-run mark, before he was castled by Lyon.
The off-spinner then followed up with the wicket of Virat Kohli, who had come in at No 3. With two quick wickets, the Australians tied down the Indian batsmen.
However, Vijay who had reached the 1000-run mark in longest format of the game earlier in the session, continued to anchor the Indian innings. The opener reached his fifty with a single off Pattinson.
Vijay and master batsman Sachin Tendulkar took India through the session. However, the opener was sent back for 57 by Peter Siddle. The departure brought out debutant Ajinkya Rahane to the crease.
Rahane opened his account in Test cricket with a single off Siddle off the ninth ball he faced. However, after a tentative start, Rahane was sent back by Lyon as the ball brushed his glove and was snapped by the Steven Smith.
With India on 165 for the loss of four wickets and the game hanging in the balance, captain MS Dhoni joined Tendulkar in the middle.
The Indian captain punched Lyon through the covers to get off the mark. But before Dhoni and Tendulkar could stitch together a partnership, Lyon struck once again and gave Australia a major breakthrough by trapping the latter leg-before.
30 runs later, Dhoni walked back to the dressing room after hitting James Pattinson to mid-wicket bringing out Ravichandran Ashwin to the crease. The lower-order bat ably supported Ravindra Jadeja as the duo added 44 runs to the total.
With India still eight runs in the red, Jadeja was removed by Glenn Maxwell halting a carefully complied knock of 43. Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar then wiped out the deficit before Lyon returned to claim the former and end the day's proceedings.
Earlier, Australia added 31 runs to their overnight score, before being bowled out for 262. Peter Siddle and James Pattinson had added 54 runs for the ninth wicket, before the former was sent back.
With a valiant 136-ball stay at the crease, Siddle was the only batsman to post a half-century in Australia's first innings.