Australia wrapped up the First Test at MCG taking 1 hour and 15 minutes of the final session to remove the last four wickets of India. The Aussies eased to a 122-run win as the Indian batting failed to deliver the goods chasing a target of 292 on a sporting drop-in pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. James Pattinson who took six wickets along with useful batting in both the innings picked up the Man of the Match award.
Well, it took less than 10 minutes after Tea for the Aussies to dislodge the pair of Dhoni-Ashwin. It was Peter Siddle bouncing out R Ashwin (30 from 35 balls with 5 fours) around the rib cage, as the tall right hander looking to tuck it to fine leg got a bit of glove and the shoulder of the bat because of the extra bounce to get caught by shortleg. Next man Zaheer Khan (13) showed some guts to hang in there with Dhoni until he was out bat pad backing away in a flick off Pattinson.
MS Dhoni (23 from 44 balls with a six) gave it away soon as well, looking to whack a length delivery from Pattinson across the line and ending up with a fatal inside edge onto the stumps. The innings and the match came to a close when last man Umesh Yadav (21 from 25 balls with 2 fours and a six) attempting to clobber Nathan Lyon for a six was brilliantly caught by the running David Warner at widish long on. India got bowled out for 169 in 47.5 overs.
James Pattinson was rewarded for his good bowling right through the test match, he finished with 4-53. Hilfenhaus added two wickets to his first innings five-wicket haul while Siddle took three wickets which included that of Sehwag and Tendulkar!
Update at Tea
Australia are all set to go 1-0 up in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after reducing India to a poor 117 for 6 in 33 overs. At the Tea Break, the Aussies are facing a bit of a counter attack from the Indian Skipper MS Dhoni (14* from 21 balls with a six) and R Ashwin (30* from 29 balls with 5 fours). The hosts are still in a comfortable position as they have got 175 runs to defend with just four more wickets to take.
Sachin Tendulkar who was batting fluently was unlucky as he lost three partners at the other end! After Dravid, VVS Laxman who has a poor average of around 16.00 at this ground, got caught at squareleg flicking an inducker from Pattinson. Laxman followed his 2 in the first innings with a score of 1 today! Young man Virat Kohli was dismissed for a first ball duck, as he flicked right across the line of a Hilfenhaus inducker that had him plumb lbw.
A disappointed Sachin without any support at the other end had MS Dhoni joining him and whacking Hilfenhaus across the line for a six over mid wicket! Tendulkar’s fine innings came to an end soon as Siddle came back and sucked him into a false drive to a well pitched up outswinger to have him caught at gully. Sachin scored 32 from 46 balls with 4 fours.
Update at Drinks
India are tottering along at 68 for 3 in 22 overs at drinks in the afternoon session. Rahul Dravid got cleaned up by a sharp indipper from James Pattinson which went right through his big bat pad gap. Dravid was pushing his bat a long way away from his bat like in the first innings. His dismissal has reduced India’s chances of a victory. Sachin Tendulkar (27* with 3 fours) seems to be having other ideas though as he is stroking the ball nicely to keep the scoreboard moving. The little master would need solid support at the other end though.
Earlier in the session, Gautam Gambhir (13) was consumed by Peter Siddle when he jabbed at a rising delivery that kicked away off the seam. Gambhir was well caught at second slip by Ponting.
Update at Lunch
India started off poorly in their run-chase of 292 as they lost dashing opener Virender Sehwag very early. At lunch on Day 4, India are at 24 for 1 with Gambhir (6*) and Dravid (5*) at the crease and with 268 more runs to win.
Virender Sehwag departed for a 12-ball 7 when he was brilliantly caught overhead by Mike Hussey at gully while trying to play a flashy cut off Ben Hilfenhaus.
Australia Bowled Out
Australia have been bowled out for 240 leaving India with a target of 292 runs to win the First Test at Melbourne! It took nearly 1 hour and 15 minutes for India to remove the last two wickets! The Aussies have gone onto add 61 runs this morning to stretch their lead nicely! One of the prime factor for the Aussies to get these runs was that the pitch seemed to have slowed down and the bounce also dying. Overall the pitch looks good for batting.
Well, it took 29 minutes for India to get their breakthrough this morning which came through a magical leg cutter kind of delivery from Zaheer Khan. Michael Hussey on the backfoot was forced to edge a short of length delivery which came in with the angle but left him late for a regulation catch to MS Dhoni. Hussey finished his knock with 89 (which came in 151 balls with 9 fours). His partnership with Pattinson for the 9thwicket was worth 33 runs!
Last man Ben Hilfenhaus also found it pretty easy to survive along with the left-handed Pattinson who was solid with his technique. India also bowled poorly at times, in particular off spinner R Ashwin who bowled a few long hops. Hilfenhaus (14 from 29 balls) was the last man dismissed when he tried to drive it inside out while staying half cock to an Ishant delivery and got caught at second slip by Laxman. Pattinson remained unbeaten on 37* (from 81 balls with 4 fours). The last wicket added 43 useful runs for the Aussies!
- BV Swagath