India vs Australia: Team India register historic win in Adelaide, resolute Pujara steals the show
Man of the Match Cheteshwar Pujara shone with bat in both innings while the Indian bowlers came to the party to help India beat Australia by 31 runs in the first Test of the four-match series at the Adelaide Oval on Monday. This is India’s second win at the famous venue after Rahul Dravid powered them to a victory in 2003. Moreover, this is the first time in their history that India have won the first match of a Test series Down Under. (AS IT HAPPENED)
It was a thriller that ended with Ashwin taking the edge of Josh Hazlewood’s bat and KL Rahul completing a smart catch at second slip. The 32-run partnership between Nathan Lyon and Hazlewood was starting to bother the Indian bowlers and a sense of frustration was visible on the Indian players’ face, but the fightback ended in the last over before the tea break as the Indian players erupted in joy in what was a well-deserved win. The Australian innings finally ended on 291 with Lyon staying unbeaten on 38.
Credit to all the Indian bowlers who performed as a unit to put the Australian batsmen on the mat. Jasprit Bumrah (3/68) and R Ashwin (3/92) were brilliant as was Mohammed Shami as he finished with figures of 3/65. It was an all-round effort from the Indians on a wicket that stayed true right through the game.
Starting on 104/4 on the fifth morning, the partnership between Shaun Marsh and Travis Head lasted only 7.4 overs before India forced the breakthrough. Head (14) was the first to go, with Ishant Sharma bowling a sharp bouncer that followed the batsman and left him no room. The ball looped up to gully where Ajinkya Rahane made no mistake.
Time Paine joined Marsh the crease and the southpaw went on to score his first half-century in the fourth innings of a Test off 146 balls. It was his 10th Test half-century overall.
He had looked comfortable at the crease all morning, but Jasprit Bumrah removed him after the drinks break. The big moment came as the ball moved away just a tad and Marsh gave the slightest of edges to be caught behind in the 73rd over.
Paine and Pat Cummins displayed steady cricket to take the hosts to 186/6 at lunch, with Australia needing 137 to win. The duo had put on 30 runs off 65 deliveries to keep Australia alive in the match.
On the seventh delivery after the break, Bumrah scalped his second wicket of the innings by getting rid of danger-man Paine for 41. Mitchell Starc came into batting next and provided some resistance by scoring a brisk 28 that included couple of boundaries as well.
Starc’s innings was finally cut short by Shami who scalped his third wicket of the day after wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant took an easy catch and in doing so took the top slot in the list of most dismissals by a stumper (11) in the longest format along side Jack Russell and AB De Villiers. The Indian bowlers got rid of the final two batsmen soon to complete a resounding win and go 1-0 up in the series.
Earlier, India scored 250 in their first innings with Cheteshwar Pujara anchoring with his 16th Test century. Australia replied with 235 and conceded a 15-run lead. The visitors then finished 307 in their second innings, including a collapse of 5 for 25, and set a 323-run target on day four.
(With agency inputs)
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