Indore: Nathan Lyon spun out 8-64 to leave Australia needing 76 runs to beat India after two days of the third test on Thursday.
India was bowled out for 163 in the second innings right on stumps after Lyon's incredible eight-wicket haul. The host set Australia 76 runs to win and confirm a spot in the world test championship final in London on June 7.
Lyon's second-best career figures are the second best in India, too, after his 8-50 in Bengaluru in 2017. He is Australia's highest wicket-taker in India.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s fighting 59 gave India some hope, but it was mainly 61 overs of grim cricket for the hosts.
Resuming on 13 without loss after lunch, Shubman Gill was bowled by Lyon for 5.
Captain Rohit Sharma was next, lbw to Lyon for 12.
Virat Kohli was also out lbw on while trying to cut Matthew Kuhnemann off the back foot.
When Lyon trapped Ravindra Jadeja on 7, India was 78-4 and still trailing Australia by nine runs.
Pujara used his footwork to deny the spinners and resisted. He reached 50 off 108 deliveries, and overall faced 142 balls. Pujara and Shreyas Iyer gave India momentum. Iyer hit three fours and two sixes in 26 off 27 then he was out to a brilliant catch by Usman Khawaja at midwicket off Mitchell Starc. Lyon bowled Srikar Bharat for 3 to reach his five-for, and got Ravichandran Ashwin out lbw on 16. Pujara's dismissal to a stunning leg slip catch by Steve Smith off Lyon ended India's hopes of setting a target to worry Australia.
“We don't have enough runs on the board, but we will try to make it tough for Australia and go for victory," Pujara said. “It is a really tough pitch to bat on. I trusted my defence to bat on this wicket.” Umesh Yadav holed out in the deep for a two-ball duck, and Lyon bowled Mohammed Siraj without socring to complete the rout. India lost its last four wickets for 23 runs in the space of 12.3 overs.
Australia suffered a stunning collapse in the morning, when its first innings collapsed from 186-4 to 197 all out, though it had a significant lead of 88 runs.
Fast bowler Yadav took three wickets in the half-hour burst which netted 6-11 in 34 deliveries for India.
Australia resumed on the second morning on 156-4 after getting the upper hand on the opening day, and Peter Handscomb (19) and Cameron Green (21) added 30 runs in a challenging first hour.
But all of the pressure from India’s bowlers paid off when offspinner Ashwin broke through in the 71st over of the innings to have Handscomb caught edging to forward short leg.
That wicket triggered the Australia collapse, with the next five wickets falling in 5.3 overs.
Yadav, who took 3-12, got an lbw decision against the tall allrounder Green and started getting the ball to reverse against the tailenders. He bowled Mitchell Starc and Todd Murphy.
Ashwin trapped Alex Carey in another decision that the Australians unsuccessfully reviewed.
Jadeja didn’t add to the four wickets he collected on Wednesday and returned 4-78. Ashwin got 3-44.