Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe picked up a career-best six for 35 to help Australia take command of the first test against India after 15 wickets fell on a bowler-dominated second day of the contest on Friday.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 24, 2017
Playing only his fifth test and first in India, O’Keefe took all his wickets in the space of 24 deliveries, including three in an over, to trigger a spectacular collapse and help Australia bundle out India for 105 in their first innings.
Australia took a first innings lead of 155, a significant advantage on a spin-friendly track at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, which is making its debut as a test centre.
The touring side, who have lost their last nine tests in Asia and were considered underdogs before the start of the four-match series, reached 143 for four at stumps in their second innings, an overall lead of 298 runs.
Captain Steve Smith was unbeaten after a chance-filled 59, during which he was dropped three times, with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh 21 not out.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three quick wickets to boost India’s hopes of restricting Australia to a low second innings total but Smith and Matt Renshaw (31) then added 52 for the fourth to boost the touring side.
Replying to Australia’s 260, the world’s top-ranked side, unbeaten in their previous 19 tests, lost their last seven wickets for 11 runs as O’Keefe ran through their batsmen to pick up his maiden five-wicket haul.