India spun Australia and eyes a win – 1st Test

Australia 380 and 9-232 (Moises Henriques 75*, Ed Cowan 32, Ravichandran Ashwin 5-90) leads India 572 (MS Dhoni 224, Virat Kohli 107, Sachin Tendulkar 81, James Pattinson 5-96) by 40 runs.

The Indian Spinners let the strong Australian batting line down except Moises Henriques who fought hard and assisted the visitors in avoiding the innings defeat.

Australia managed 380 runs in their first innings followed by 9-232 in 84 overs in the second and India plundered 572 runs in the first innings.

The fourth day’s play came to an end on Monday, February 25, 2013, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.

Earlier, the hosts started the day at 8-515 after playing 141 overs whereas MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were at the crease for 206 and 16 runs respectively. Dhoni took off with a four in the first over and hit the first six of the day in the 144th over. The score was taken to 546 when MS Dhoni was finally caught behind by Matthew Wade off James Pattinson for 224 from 265 deliveries with 6 crunchy sixes and 24 fours. Kumar scored 38 off 97 with 4 fours as the Indian innings concluded after hammering 572 runs in 154.3 overs.

James Pattinson was the supreme bowler with five wickets, Nathan Lyon held three whereas Peter Siddle and Moises Henriques claimed one wicket each.

Ravichandran Ashwin - A nightmare for the Australians
Ravichandran Ashwin – A nightmare for the Australians

Australia conceded a first innings lead of 192 runs and their innings was opened by Ed Cowan along with Shane Watson in a defensive mode on a track which looked like assisting the spinners. The Indian captain, MS Dhoni gave the new ball to his spinner in form, Ravichandran Ashwin, as Harbhajan Singh was inducted from the other side. Cowan survived a couple of huge shouts and hit the first four of the innings in the sixth over. Watson scored just seven runs on the 37 balls he faced and hit the first six in the 14th over. The score reached 34 in 16 overs when Shane Watson was caught by Virender Sehwag in the slip off Ashwin for 17.

David Warner joined in next with Cowan, they found it hard to score the runs and preferred to defend. Warner opened his account on the 16th ball with two runs and they crept to 64 after 29 overs when Ed Cowan was declared leg before wicket off Ashwin for 32 runs. The home spinners dominated the game and got two quick wickets as David Warner became the fourth batsman who went back to the pavilion for 23 runs. Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade tried to consolidate the innings as the first tried to attack the rival bowling. The pair went, the one after the other, at 8 and 31 runs accordingly and the Kangaroos were reeling at 6-131 in 49.3 overs.

The debutant Moises Henriques was the only dependable batsman left for the visitors and he was playing an anchor’s role. The Aussies were facing an innings defeat as Henriques shared a couple of brief partnerships and the 9th wicket fell at 175 as Australia still required 17 runs to avoid the innings defeat. Nathan Lyon was the last batsman who took guards in the center and Henriques did not give up the fight. The tourists got three runs lead in the 73rd over and the second hundred of the innings appeared on board in the next over.

Moises Henriques achieved his successive fifty in his first Test with a grand six over long-on in the 77th over and added a few more boundaries until the close of the play. He remained unbeaten for 75 off 124 balls with 2 smart sixes and 6 fours whereas Nathan Lyon secured his end at 8. The Kangaroos scored 232 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 84 overs at stumps on day four.

Ravichandran Ashwin once again was the star performer and grabbed five wickets whereas Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja shared two wickets each.

Australia has gained a nominal lead of just 40 runs with just one wicket remaining in the innings. India anticipates winning the match in the first session of the play on day five subject to a miracle.


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