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India loses 7 wickets for 11, all out for 105 v Australia

Associated Press logo Associated Press 24-02-2017 By CHETAN NARULA, Associated Press
Australia's Steve O'Keefe, left, celebrates the dismissal of India's Ajinkya Rahane on the second day of the first cricket test match in Pune, India, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) © The Associated Press Australia's Steve O'Keefe, left, celebrates the dismissal of India's Ajinkya Rahane on the second day of the first cricket test match in Pune, India, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

PUNE, India — Steven O'Keefe took a career-best 6-35 and triggered a startling Indian batting collapse on Friday as the hosts lost seven wickets for 11 runs in the middle session on day two and were bowled out for 105 — conceding a 155-run lead in the first test against Australia.

The 32-year-old left-arm spinner's best previous innings return was 3-53.

India entered the four-test series as hot favorites, unbeaten in its last 20 tests on home soil and playing against an Australian lineup which had lost its last nine tests in Asia.

The dry, dusty pitch prepared in Pune, hosting its first ever test match, appeared to be ideal for India's three-pronged spin attack. But it was the Australians who made better use of it in the first innings.

Mitchell Starc made a big contribution to Australia's lead, scoring 61 from 63 balls and sharing a 55-run last-wicket standing with Josh Hazlewood to lift the visitors from 205-9 on the opening day to 260 all out in the first over of day two.

Hazlewood picked up the first wicket of the series for Australia and Starc chimed in with two wickets in an over — including India skipper Virat Kohli for his first duck on Indian soil — to have the hosts reeling at 44-3 in 15 overs.

Lokesh Rahul helped the middle order recover with a gritty 64 in a 50-run fourth-wicket stand, but his dismissal sparked the rapid collapse as India slumped from 94-3 in the 33rd over to be all out for 105 in the 41st.

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