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Rediff.com  » Cricket » India jolted early in reply to huge Aus total

India jolted early in reply to huge Aus total

Last updated on: January 25, 2012 21:06 IST

Ponting, Clarke put Australia on top in Adelaide

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Captain Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting ground the hapless Indian bowlers with a huge partnership to help Australia to a mammoth first innings total of 604 for 7 declared on the second day of the fourth and final Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.

The visitors were 61 for 2 at close of play. 

- Scorecard | Report

Clarke (210) and Ponting (221) -- the two overnight batsmen -- stitched the highest ever partnership at the Adelaide Oval as Australia buried India into a mountain of runs on the second day. 

The experienced Australian duo put on 386 runs for the fourth wicket, a partnership that bettered the 341 between South Africans Graeme Pollock and Eddie Barlow at the ground during the 196-64 series. 

They, however, missed out on the Australian record of 388 for the fourth wicket, between Sir Donald Bradman and Bill Ponsford, set in 1934, in Headingley against England.


Image: Michael Clarke (R) and Ricky Ponting talk between overs during their 386-run partnership during day two of the fourth Test
Photographs: Getty Images

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Clarke recorded his second Test double ton

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As many as 134 runs were scored by the punishing Australian pair from the 30 overs bowled in the morning session. 

Clarke was the first to get his double century, his second in Test cricket; a clip for two on the on-side brought up the milestone for Australia's captain. 

It took him 361 minutes and 255 balls, and 25 fours and a six. He was dismissed off the third ball after lunch, cleaned up by Umesh Yadav.

This is turning out to be a mammoth series for Clarke, who hit an unbeaten 329 in the second Test in Sydney earlier this month.


Image: Michael Clarke celebrates his double century
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ponting's fifth double century was his third against India

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For Ponting, it was his fifth double century in Test cricket and his third against India. 

The former Australia skipper pulled, hooked, drove, clipped and cut the Indian pacers for boundaries to notch another spectacular score at the Adelaide Oval.

His 404-ball 221 was a more calculated innings, compared to Clarke's, and contained 21 hits to the fence. 

He became Zaheer's second victim of the innings soon after lunch, when he miscued a pull and Sachin Tendulkar took a spectacular catch at deep mid-wicket.


Image: Ricky Ponting celebrates his double century
Photographs: Getty Images

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Hussey's innings cut short by Gambhir

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Michael Hussey scored a 33-ball 25. 

The left-hander, coming in to bat soon after lunch, looked in good touch during his stay at the crease, helping Ponting put on 50 runs for the fifth wicket. 

However, some brilliant fielding by Gautam Gambhir at silly point cut short his innings.

Hussey was starting to run, having pushed an Ashwin delivery past silly point. But Gambhir made a spectacular stop and lobbed the ball back to the stumps before the batsman could get to his crease. 


Image: Michael Hussey bats during day two
Photographs: Getty Images

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Haddin in good touch

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Ashwin chipped in with another wicket, his third, when he had Peter Siddle completely misreading a doosra which flicked the outer edge of his bat on the way to Wriddhaman Saha, giving the little wicketkeeper's his first victim in Test cricket. 

The Indians again ran into obstruction by the eighth-wicket pair of Brad Haddin (42) and Ryan Harris (35), who put on 71 runs before the closure was applied. 

Just before declaration came, Ryan Harris pulled Umesh Yadav for a massive six to fine leg for his highest score in Test cricket.


Image: Brad Haddin bats during day two


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Siddle accounts for Sehwag early

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Replying to Australia's monumental effort, Virender Sehwag (18) and Rahul Dravid (1) were the two early blows India suffered in their innings and neither the pitch nor the deliveries merited their dismissals. 

The first ball of Peter Siddle was a low full toss on Sehwag's leg stump. Sehwag aimed to play it on the on-side but closed the face of his bat too early. 

He miscued it to the right of the bowler, who somehow stuck his right hand out and caught it splendidly while still in his follow through. Sehwag already had a slice of luck when he was dropped by Ed Cowan on five at the total 13 for no loss.

The opener had aimed to flick Hilfenhaus off his pads and the ball went in the air, low to Cowan's left at midwicket, but the fielder floored the chance. 

Sehwag, in the short time that he was in, struck two off-side fours off Hilfenhaus and had just put on the highest opening stand of the series with Gambhir of 26 runs before he fell in an astonishing manner.


Image: Peter Siddle celebrates after taking the wicket of Virender of Sehwag


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Dravid's defence breached for the sixth time

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Dravid, for the sixth time in the series, was bowled. This time, however, it was a cruel turn for the star batsman. 

He played back to a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that kicked from a length, hit him on the elbow and crashed on to his stumps.


Image: Ben Hilfenhaus celebrates after taking the wicket of Rahul Dravid

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Gambhir, Tendulkar stuck to the task

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Gautam Gambhir (30) and Sachin Tendulkar (12) will carry the fight on Thursday while their team is still 543 runs in arrears.

Gambhir, who began with a steer through point off the first ball of the innings, was generally assured, and hit two lovely cover drives off the front foot off Siddle. 

Tendulkar was his usual serene self, flicking Hilfenhaus to the mid-wicket fence even though there were two short mid-wicket fielders positioned specifically for it.


Image: Gautam Gambhir (L) and Sachin Tendulkar (R) talk between overs


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