On day three of the fourth Test between India and Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, attrition was the watch-word as sixteen wickets in three sessions as the hosts romped home to a six wicket win after tea. It means that India have now won this series 4-0, a new record for them, and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia began the day in hope of keeping the deficit at 3-0 and perhaps even opening their account. For that they needed to get rid of the last two Indian wickets quickly and Nathan Lyon just did that, scalping both Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha, both out for a duck each. It meant that India’s first innings had come to a close in just three overs in the morning and ahead by only ten runs, with 272 runs in reply to Australia’s 262. Lyon finished with a career-best haul of seven for 94. Meanwhile, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Glenn Maxwell finished with a wicket apiece.
Now, it remained to be seen what Australia could do with the bat as the pitch was wearing down ever more. They made their intent known as Maxwell walked out to bat with David Warner. It was clear that they wanted to use the hard new ball and take the attack to India. But that didn’t happen as the slow bowlers got on top, and made sure that Australia did not come back into the game.
Ravindra Jadeja sent back Maxwell (8), Warner (8), while Ashwin accounted for Phil Hughes (6), with the visitors struggling at 41 for three within fourteen overs. Their misery did not end yet, as Pragyan Ojha (2-19) castled Shane Watson (5) who went for a pull shot on a delivery that stayed low and missed it completely. Jadeja then trapped Ed Cowan (24) LBW and Australia went to lunch at 69 for five.
Steve Smith and Matthew Wade tried to resurrect the innings with a 41-run partnership, but their stand was broken in the second session. Jadeja was the miracle worker again as Smith (18) was bowled, giving the left arm spinner his 24th wicket in the series. Mitchell Johnson was bowled for a duck off the first ball as Jadeja completed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket, returning figures of five for 58.
Peter Siddle provided some resistance once again, playing with a straight bat, and scoring his second half century of the match. But he could only take Australia as far as 164 in their second innings, out LBW to Ashwin (2-55) for exactly 50. He was the last man out as Pattinson was previously bowled by Ishant Sharma (1-13) for 11. Sharma later received a fine of 15 per cent of his match fee for the send-off that he gave Pattinson following his dismissal.
India then chased down the target of 155, largely due to Cheteshwar Pujara’s 82 off 92 balls, with 11 fours, as he played a master-class innings despite a broken finger. There were a few shocks for India along the way as Virat Kohli (41), Sachin Tendulkar (1) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) lost their wickets in quick succession. But Pujara kept his cool in company of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (8*) to successfully complete the run chase, and record India’s biggest win in their 81-year history.
© Cricket World 2013
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