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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » 1st Test, Day 4: Indian spinners on fire in Chennai

1st Test, Day 4: Indian spinners on fire in Chennai

Last updated on: February 25, 2013 17:43 IST

A defiant unbeaten 75 by debutant Moises Henriques ensured Australia took the opening Test against India to a fifth day.


Needing 193 runs to make the home team bat again, the visitors collapsed to 175 for nine before their last wicket pair got into the act.

At stumps on Day Four, Australia had made 232 for nine (84 overs), an overall lead of 40.

Henriques’s 124-ball knock was inclusive of six hits to the fence and two over it and he put on 57 runs for the final wicket with Nathan Lyon, the latter surviving 47 balls for his eight.

R AshwinR Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of five for 90, to go with his seven wickets in the Australian first innings. Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets apiece.

Morning session:

India (57 runs, 13.3 overs, two wickets):

When Dhoni reverse swept Lyon to the third man boundary, in what was the second ball of the day, it made clear the Indian intent. The home team was going to do everything possible to avoid batting a second time on a wicket that had already deteriorated. 

The Indian captain helped himself to another boundary in the spinner’s second over before smashing one over the long-on fence four balls later. He also smashed Pattinson over mid-off for another four.

However, it was the Australian quick, who had the last laugh, ending Dhoni’s adventure by having him caught behind in what was his third over -- the sixth of the day.

The Indian captain’s 265-ball knock was inclusive of two dozen boundaries and half-a-dozen hits over the fence. He was involved in a record ninth wicket stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar that yielded 140 runs.

The enterprising nature of Dhoni’s innings notwithstanding, his dismissal meant he remained third on the list of highest scores by a wicket-keeper, behind Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (232) and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (225), both having come against India.

Dhoni’s wicket also helped Pattinson complete a well-deserved five-wicket haul; the young bowler’s third, but first since his debut series against New Zealand in 2011.

Kumar and Ishant Sharma (four not out) added a further 26 runs for the final wicket before Peter Siddle ended the former’s resistance, having him caught by Clarke at mid-off.

India added 57 runs to their overnight total (in 13.3 overs) to be dismissed for 572, a first innings lead of 192.

Australia (34 runs, 16 overs, one wicket):

David Warner, having suffered a bout of gastro-enteritis, didn’t open the batting in the second innings. It was Shane Watson who came in to bat with Ed Cowan.

There was more success in store for the home team in the first session -- Ashwin having Watson (17) caught by Virender Sehwag at slip to reduce the visitors to 34 for one at lunch (16 overs).

Post-lunch session (94 runs, 33 overss, four wickets):

The pathetic habit that the Indian spinners are infamous for -- excessive appealing, rather appealing every ball -- was visible from the very outset in the second session.

There were glimpses of it in the first, but it went full throttle soon after lunch.

Almost every delivery was followed by a loud appeal, palpably supported by the hyper-excited crowd. And it was Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharamsena who became the first to buckle under the pressure.

Cowan (32) was given out leg before to Ashwin. The batsman didn’t seem too happy with the decision but had to leave nonetheless.

Phillip Hughes came and went, caught at slip by Sehwag off Jadeja. He didn’t bother to trouble the scorers. Australia had lost three of its second innings wickets with just 65 runs on board, and close to five sessions to play.

David Warner (23) helped Michael Clarke put on 36 runs for the fourth wicket, taking the visitors past the 100-run mark, before he was adjudged leg before to Harbhajan.

Matthew Wade (8) didn’t survive for long either, mistiming a sweep off Harbhajan and seeing his stumps getting shattered. In fact, Harbhajan’s third spell (4-2-9-2) undermined the fact that he that he had struggled in the match.

Australia had reached 128 for five at tea (49 overs).

Post-tea session (104 runs, 35 overs, four wickets):

It took three balls after resumption for Ashwin to strike. It was a big wicket as well.

Clarke (31) had been trapped leg before. And, with the dismissal of the Australian captain, ended the hopes of his team.

Peter Siddle (2) was cleaned up by Jadeja soon after and Ashwin returned to have Pattinson (11) caught by Sehwag at first slip.

Mitchell Starc (8) hit Ashwin for a couple of boundaries over midwicket but it was the bowler who had the last laugh, having the Australian caught by Tendulkar at mid-on. The wicket helped Ashwin achieve a second successive five-wicket haul in the match.

Henriques and Lyon ensured the visitors lived to fight another day.

Photograph: BCCI