Sports Monks

India overcomes Australian tail to seal a memorable win at Adelaide

India pulled off a stunning 31-run victory in the first Test match at Adelaide. The Australian team displayed great courage in delaying the inevitable, but it was all over just before the end of the second session on day five. This is the first time India has won an opening Test in Australia.

Australia, chasing 323 runs to win, was precariously placed at 104/4 with Shaun Marsh and Travis Head unbeaten at the end of day four. Ishant Sharma drew the first blood on the final morning as he sent back Head with a well-directed short delivery.

Marsh was then joined by the Australian Captain Tim Paine. The duo threatened to take the game away from Indians with their stubborn stand. Jasprit Bumrah provided the much-needed breakthrough as he sent back Marsh for a doughty 60. Paine and Cummins saw Australia through to the Lunch break.

Australia’s never-give-up spirit was characterized in the post-lunch session. Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood did not throw away their wickets and took the fight to the Indians. The lower order staged the partnerships of 31, 41, 31 and 32 for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth wickets respectively.

Indian pace bowlers attacked relentlessly with the new ball, but the success was achieved only after putting in a tremendous effort. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin toiled the most as he ended up bowling 52.5 overs in the second innings.

When Josh Hazlewood, the number 11, walked out to bat, Australia needed further 64 runs to win the Test. He alongside a fluent Nathan Lyon raised a stand of 32 runs for the last wicket that annoyed Virat Kohli to the hilt.

A mistimed drive off Ashwin by Hazlewood was ultimately grabbed by KL Rahul at the second slip, and India broke into a jubilant celebration. Australia was all out for 291 and lost the opening Test of the series by 31 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara was named as the man of the match for his excellent effort (123 and 71) with the bat.

Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, whose banter behind the stumps entertained everyone, held on to 11 catches in this Test match. Pant thus equaled the world record in the company of AB De Villiers and Jack Russell. There were 35 caught dismissals in this Test, most in any match ever played.

The second Test between India and Australia begins at Perth on 14th December.

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