India Bowled Out
Australia completed an innings and 68 runs victory in the Second Test at Sydney inside four days. The hosts with a lead of 2-0 cannot lose the 4-match Series from this stage. The inevitable defeat was delayed by a gritty Ravichandran Ashwin who batted superbly to score a half century and in the process taking India to a respectable total of 400. India suffered its sixth defeat in a row with this in overseas Tests.
The hosts had to work extremely hard to take the remaining two wickets after Tea as Ashwin got the no. 10 Ishant and no. 11 Umesh Yadav to bat sensibly. Ishant Sharma (11 from 35 balls) was eventually dismissed by off spinner Nathan Lyon with a flat delivery that skidded through to hit the pad in line of the off stump for an lbw. Ishant put up a stubborn stand of 42 runs which lasted nearly 12 overs.
Last man Umesh Yadav held himself back from any wild shots and left Ashwin to bat along freely. It took almost an hour after Tea for the Aussies to finally bowl out India with Ashwin miscuing a pull shot off a Hilfenhaus’ short delivery to get well caught by a backward running Lyon. Ashwin ended his fight with a personal score of 62 from 76 balls with 9 fours and a six. Hilfenhaus took his second five-wicket haul of the series and also of his career. Australia took 110.5 overs to bowl out India in their second innings which was pretty hard work for its pace trio.
As expected it was Michael Clarke taking the Man of the Match award for his knock of 329* along with the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. The two teams will have a week’s rest before clashing again in the 3rd Test at the WACA Ground in Perth which begins on the 13th.
Indian batsmen flattered to deceive yet again and the team is heading towards a quick innings defeat by Tea on Day 4. Australia now need just two more wickets to wrap up the Sydney test with India at 351 for 8 in 97 overs. It was a procession of batsmen walking back to the pavilion one after the other for India once Sachin Tendulkar got out to the innocuous left arm spin of Michael Clarke.
Against the run of play, Clarke got a delivery to turn away in the 79th over which forced an outside edge from Tendulkar’s defence, the ball flew straight off Haddin’s gloves and landed into Hussey’s hands at slip. Tendulkar fell for 80 which came in 141 balls with 9 fours. His partnership with Laxman was a promising one worth of 103 runs. Once the second new ball was taken, it accounted with a quick wicket of VVS Laxman (66 from 119 balls with 7 fours) who was cleaned up by a late outswinger from Ben Hilfenhaus which pitched on middle and tailed away just enough to beat the bat and hit the off stump.
Hilfenhaus then took a return catch off his own bowling in the 85th over as the Indian Skipper MS Dhoni (2) squeezed an inswinging Yorker off the toe end right into the hands of the bowler. Virat Kohli (9) departed in the next over when he shuffled back for a flick shot but only to get hit on the pad plumb infront of middle by a Pattinson indipper which stayed low! Next to go was Zaheer Khan but not before he had played an entertaining cameo of 35 from 26 balls with 5 fours and a six. Zaheer’s flashy innings came to an end when he sliced a cut off Siddle to get brilliantly caught by Marsh jumping back at point.
R Ashwin remained unbeaten so far with a nicely played 27 from 35 balls with 4 fours. He has got with him Ishant Sharma but only to slightly delay the inevitable.
India are putting up a strong fightback in the Sydney Test which is being led by the great Sachin Tendulkar. VVS Laxman who has hit three centuries at this ground like Sachin is giving him good company as the duo have carried India safely to Lunch at 243 for 3 in 69 overs. The deficit has been cut down to 225 runs thanks to the positive approach from Sachin Tendulkar (70* from 109 balls with 9 fours) in particular and also VVS Laxman who has scored 44* from 85 balls with 5 fours.
The only casualty for India was Gautam Gambhir (83 from 142 balls with 11 fours) who carelessly flicked a length ball from Siddle across the line to get caught at point off a leading edge in the 49th over. India will hope that it rains heavily in Sydney as there are enough chances of that to happen with the sky very grey. The match is being played under lights at the moment.
First 30 minutes : India are off to a smashing start as they scored more than 50 runs in the first half hour of Day 4 of the Sydney Test. Sachin Tendulkar is on fire playing his shots mainly on the backfoot. India have scored their runs at a rate of more than 7.00! Gambhir has also looked good at the other end and the Aussies for the first time are being dominated. The conditions are overcast at Sydney and the floodlights are being turned on.
- BV Swagath