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PHOTOS: Dhoni, Ashwin take India on brink of big win

Last updated on: February 25, 2013 23:32 IST

Dhoni hits record 224, Ashwin claims five

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India inched closer to a resounding victory in the first Test against Australia even as debutant Moises Henriques delayed the inevitable with a fighting undefeated 75, on a difficult track, to take the match into the fifth and final day.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin stood out with the ball, claiming his second five wicket haul to help India decimate the Aussie top and middle-order.

Ashwin grabbed five for 90 helped India reduce Australia to 175 for nine before Henriques-Lyon provided some rearguard action.

Earlier, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued from where they had left on day three and frustrated the Australian bowlers with deft strokeplay and quick movement between the wickets.

- Scorecard

Dhoni smashed his way to 224 before he departed in the 147th over of the Indian innings. The gutsy skipper fell to young pacer James Pattinson, becoming his fifth wicket of the match.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: BCCI
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Pattinson claims five wickets

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Australia pacer James Pattinson completed his five-wicket haul with the prized scalp of Dhoni, who was caught behind by wicketkeeper Mathew Wade as he tried to pull a short ball but ended up edging it behind.

Dhoni, who put on 140 runs for the ninth wicket with Bhuvneshwar, was dismissed after striking 24 fours and half a dozen sixes, including one this morning, during his 265-ball knock.

Dhoni and Kumar scored at a rate of over four runs during their partnership which lasted 31.1 overs. Dhoni's contribution in the stand was a whopping 103.


Image: James Pattinson
Photographs: BCCI
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India post a huge 572

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar proved his worth with the bat as he contributed with a vital innings of 38, inclusive of four boundaries in his 97-ball knock.

Bhuvneshwar and Ishant Sharma (4 not out) combined for a last-wicket stand of 26 to leave the Aussies flustered.

The visiting side's agony ended in the 155th over when pacer Peter Siddle finally got rewarded for bending his back hard for the past two days.

The pacer tasted success in his 25th over when Bhuvneshwar was foxed by a slower ball and lofted an easy catch to Michael Clarke at mid-off.

India were bowled out for a huge total of 572 for a handy first innings lead of 192 runs.


Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: BCCI
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Ashwin gives India early wicket

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India opened the bowling with spinners as Harbhajan Singh and R Ashwin took the new ball.

And it was Ashwin, who provided India with the early breakthrough as he got Shane Watson caught at first slip on the stroke of lunch.

Watson, who opened the innings in place of David Warner, was dismissed for 17.

Australia were 34 for one at lunch on the fourth day with Ed Cowan batting on 13.


Image: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with captain Dhoni after taking the wicket of Shane Watson
Photographs: BCCI
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India's spin trio exploited the deteriorating conditions

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At tea, Australia required another 64 runs to avoid the ignominy of an innings defeat and their captain Michael Clarke (31 batting) waged a lone battle with little support from the other end.

Harbhajan, Jadeja and Ashwin exploited the deteriorating conditions as they polished the Australian top-half in the post-lunch session as India went for the kill.

Starting the post-lunch session at 34 for one, the Aussies found it tough to read the spinners.

Ed Cowan grafted his way to 32 off 97 balls, was finally adjudged leg before when an Ashwin delivery straightened after pitching and the left-hander wasn't entirely committed to the front foot.

Cowan was unhappy with the decision, but television replays went n favour of the bowler.

Image: Ed Cowan of Australia deals with an awkward delivery from Harbhajan Singh on Day 4 of the 1st Test on Monday
Photographs: BCCI
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Hughes didn't last long

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Phillip Hughes's joined Warner at the crease, but his stay lasted a mere three deliveries. He was foxed by a sharp delivery from Jadeja that nastily jumped onto him after hitting one of the spots. The ball ballooned off his gloves and Sehwag took the easiest of catches at slip.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh, who struggled in the first innings, found his touch in the second innings. He bowled more purposefully, was slower through the air and was also getting the required drift.

Image: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates the wicket of Phillip Hughes
Photographs: BCCI
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Warner trapped by Harbhajan after promising start

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David Warner, who curbed his natural instincts to score a patient 23 off 61 balls, got a drifter from Harbhajan and was caught plumbed in-front.

Warner 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.


Image: David Warner walks off the field after his dismissal as the Indian team celebrates
Photographs: BCCI
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Harbhajan's third spell was the most fruitful

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Buoyed by the success, Harbhajan got his second wicket as he cleaned up Matthew Wade (8), who went for a wild sweep while completely missing the line of the delivery and seeing his stumps getting shattered.

Harbhajan's third spell (4-2-9-2) proved to be his most fruitful.


Image: Matthew Wade is bowled by Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: BCCI
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Clarke's wicket was the final nail in the coffin

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The last session of the day started on a bright note for the Indian camp. Ashwin picked his third wicket of the innings when he had Clarke trapped on the back foot with a ball keeping low.

The wicket of the Aussie captain was like the final nail in the coffin.

With the departure of Australian captain, there were some premature celebrations in the stands

Soon after, Australia lost the wicket of Peter Siddle, bowled by Jadeja to have the Aussies 7 down.


Image: Indians celebrate as Australia captain Michael Clarke walks off after his dismissal
Photographs: BCCI
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Pattinson's figh back didn't last long

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Later, James Pattinson (11, 26 balls) joined forces with Henriques and provided some resistance.

Finally, the left-hander became Ashwin's fourth victim in the second innings as he edged one to Sehwag in the slips.

Mitchell Starc hit a couple of boundaries but didn't show intent to stay back for a long period as he tried to loft Ashwin to give an easy catch to Tendulkar in the long-on region.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar takes the catch to dismiss Mitchell Starc
Photographs: BCCI
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Gutsy Henriques to Australia's rescue

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Once Starc was gone, Australia still needed 17 runs to avoid the follow-on but Henriques and Lyon did well to thwart the Indian bowlers.

Henriques followed up his first innings half century with another gutsy effort as he added 57 runs for the final wicket with No 11 Nathan Lyon (8 batting).

The duo consumed 18.1 overs to not only frustrate the hosts but also snatch a lead of 40 runs.

Image: Moises Henriques
Photographs: BCCI
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