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Gardner leads Aussie fightback with ball on Day 2 v India

Jarred Cross -

Ash Gardner has almost single handedly pulled Australia back into the only test of Australia's tour to India, involved in six wickets whilst stemming the flow of runs as India attempted to build a sizeable first innings lead.

The Muruwari allrounder took four wickets while delivering the bulk of Australia's overs after India made a positive start in chasing down Australia's modest total of 219 on day one.

A tough task remains ahead of the Australians in Mumbai.

India won their most recent test with a thumping 347-run triumph over England in Navi Mumbai this time last year.

Gardner contributed just 11 runs in the first innings before India moved to 98/1 at stumps.

The breakthrough came early on day two with Gardner bowling Indian no.3 Sneh Rana cheaply before finishing Kim Garth's work in the field to run-out opener Smriti Mandhana 74 (106) at the non-striker's end.

Gardner finished Kim Garth's work at backward point to claim the key wicket of Mandhana. (Image: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

At the fall of the third wicket India had already reached 147/3.

By tea, the hosts had wobbled to 276/7 after Gardner got to work on their middle order.

Gardner saw Richa Ghosh back to the stands after catching a mistimed pull shot at deep square leg to give Garth her first wicket.

She then went on to trap both Yastika Bhatia and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur leg-before-wicket for Australia's fifth and sixth wickets, before Annabel Sutherland held on to Jemimah Rodrigue (73) at extra-cover for Gardener's fourth dismissal with the ball.

India progressed their lead past 100 runs by the final session on day two.

The two sides are due to meet in three ODIs and three T20s following the red ball start to the series.

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