Section: Test Match

Cricket: Australia v India: MS Dhoni secures Test draw but loses series

Australia drew the third Test against India to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Third Test, Melbourne (day five):
Australia 530 & 318-9 draw with India 465 & 174-6

The home side declared on 318-9 at lunch on the final day, setting India 384 to win in 70 overs.

Virat Kohli (54) and Ajinkya Rahane (48) led India’s resistance after they lost three wickets for 19 runs.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin then survived a nervous final hour to push India to safety, as they closed on 174-6.

Australia resumed their second innings on 261-7 and had been expected to bat aggressively to add runs quickly before declaring, but Shaun Marsh and Ryan Harris took their time in a 69-run partnership, also knowing a draw would be enough for Australia to clinch the series.

Marsh was run out for 99 shortly before lunch as he attempted a rash single to bring up his first Test century on home soil.

After the break, Harris struck with the second ball of the second over to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for a duck before Lokesh Rahul continued his forgettable Test debut by falling for one to a Mitchell Johnson short ball, following his three in the first innings.

Josh Hazlewood then claimed his first Test dismissal of the Test, trapping opener Murali Vijay lbw for 11 to leave India 19-3 after 8.2 overs.

But Kohli and Rahane steadied the innings to leave Australia needing seven wickets in the final session.

Kohli fell to the first ball after the tea break, caught at backward square leg, before Chetshewar Pujara was bowled by Johnson for 21 while Rahane was caught at mid-wicket off Hazlewood, to leave India on 142-6 with 15 overs remaining.

However, Dhoni, who announced his immediate retirement from Test cricket after the match, and Ashwin saw off 11 of the overs before a draw was mutually agreed with four overs remaining.

The result sees Australia regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Mitchell Johnson spell secures second Test victory

Mitchell Johnson delivered an inspired spell to help Australia win the second Test and take a 2-0 series lead, despite a late India fightback.

Johnson took four wickets for 61 runs, including 3-10 in 11 balls, as India collapsed to 224 all out after resuming on 71-1 on day four in Brisbane.

Australia lost three quick wickets but chased down 128 for the win and now cannot lose the four-Test series.

Johnson said “It’s my job to be aggressive and take wickets.”

His performance revived memories of his match-winning display at the Gabba just over a year ago, when his 5-42 and 4-61 helped Australia win the first Ashes Test by 381 runs.

The only Indian batsman to resist during their collapse of 9-148 was Shikhar Dhawan, who hit a stubborn 81 after playing with a wrist injury he sustained in the practice nets before the start of play.

Dhawan was initially unable to resume his innings at the start of play and was replaced by Virat Kohli, who also suffered an injured wrist batting in the nets.

The injuries prompted India’s team management to claim they had asking for better practice pitches.

“Instead of that, they have asked us to practice on worn out wickets, which have uneven bounce. Because of that two of our batsmen got injured,” said the statement.

Chasing a modest target, Australia’s reply began badly with seamer Ishant Sharma claiming two wickets before tea, but Chris Rogers gave the innings some impetus with 55 off 57 balls including 10 boundaries.

Sharma also dismissed Rogers, leaving Australia on 85 for three, and as they closed in on victory Shaun Marsh, stand-in captain Steve Smith and Brad Haddin fell in quick succession before Mitchell Marsh hit the winning runs.

Smith was named man of the match following his first innings century. He also scored an unbeaten 162 and 52 not out to help Australia win the first Test in Adelaide.

Read more at BBC Sport


Cricket: Australia v India: Steve Smith century leaves Test in balance

Australia stand-in captain Steve Smith hit a second century in two games to help leave the second Test with India finely poised.

Second Test, Brisbane (day three):
India 408 & 71-1 v Australia 505

Deputising for the injured Michael Clarke, Smith made 133 as the hosts posted 505, a first-innings lead of 97 at the Gabba.

Mitchell Johnson struck 88 as Ishant Sharma (3-117) and Umesh Yadav (3-101) shared six wickets.

India reached 71-1 by the close of day three, trailing by 26.

India’s Murali Vijay, who made 144 on the first day, fell in the evening session when he played on trying to leave a delivery from Mitchell Starc.

However, Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara negotiated a tricky final period without further loss and will resume on Saturday on 26 and 15 respectively.

Australia began the day on 221-4 and Smith, 65 not out overnight, brought up his sixth Test hundred off 147 balls before he chopped on off Ishant.

He made an unbeaten 162 and 52 not out as Australia won the first Test by 48 runs.

Starc (52) and debutant Josh Hazlewood (32) helped boost Australia’s total with some valuable late-order hitting.

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Cricket: Australia v India: Murali Vijay hits century as bowlers struggle

Murali Vijay struck an impressive century as India put themselves in a commanding position on day one of the second Test against Australia.

Second Test, Brisbane (day one):
India 311-4 v Australia

The 30-year-old batsman scored 144 as India reached 311-4 at stumps after winning the toss at the Gabba.

Australia endured a difficult day in Steve Smith’s first Test as stand-in captain for the injured Michael Clarke.

In stifling heat Smith used eight bowlers as injury and fatigue took its toll on the Australia attack.

Mitchell Marsh pulled up with a hamstring injury, Mitchell Starc and debutant Josh Hazlewood left the field with exhaustion and Mitchell Johnson bowled through a hip problem.

Opener Vijay’s hundred continued his fine start to the four-match series, with scores of 53 and 99 in India’s 48-run defeat in the first Test.

Vijay was put down by Shaun Marsh on 36 and 102, both off left-arm pace bowler Johnson, before he was caught behind off spinner Nathan Lyon late in the day.

Mitchell Marsh struck first when he removed opener Shikhar Dhawan, his maiden Test wicket.

Hazlewood, the pick of the Australia attack, had Cheteshwar Pujara controversially caught off the grille of his helmet, then found Virat Kohli’s edge as he tried to cut, leaving India 137-3.

But Vijay dominated a weary attack as he and Ajinkya Rahane shared a 124-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Rahane and Rohit Sharma will resume on day two on 75 and 26 respectively.

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Cricket: Australia v India: Nathan Lyon spins hosts to Adelaide victory

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took 10 wickets in a Test match for the first time in his career as Australia beat India by 48 runs in the first Test at Adelaide.

India fell short of their target of 364 from 98 overs despite captain Virat Kohli’s 141 and Murali Vijay’s 99.

Lyon took 7-152 in the second innings to finish with match figures of 12-286.

But Australia captain Michael Clarke injured his hamstring while fielding and will miss the rest of the four-match series.

Australia declared on their overnight total of 290-5, and India looked comfortable in their pursuit of 364 as Kohli, deputising for the injured MS Dhoni, and opener Vijay put on 185 for the third wicket, to take India to 242-2.

Vijay fell in the 10th over after tea, lbw to Lyon one short of his century, and India’s hopes further dimmed when having completed his second century of the match, Kohli was caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Mitchell Marsh off the bowling of Lyon.

Ishant Sharma was last out, stumped by stand-in captain Brad Haddin off Lyon, as Australia – wearing black armbands to honour their late team-mate Phillip Hughes, who died on 27 November, two days after being struck on the head by a ball during a Sheffield Shield game – wrapped up the win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Lyon, who was named as man of the match despite David Warner and Kohli both scoring hundreds in each innings, said Australia remained confident of winning, even when Kohli and Vijay seemed well set.

“It’s Test match cricket, and there are always little turns and stories in the game. but we knew that if we stayed patient long enough, things would turn around,” he said.

Kohli said India were determined to try and chase down the target rather than play for a draw at the Adelaide Oval.

“I told the guys last night that we had to come out tomorrow and chase it. I believed throughout in my own ability and the ability of the guys,” he said.

“But the whole Australia team put up a great fight – credit to Nathan Lyon for a great spell where he bowled the balls in the right areas.”

Clarke said his side particularly wanted to record a victory in their first match since the death of their former team-mate Hughes.

“I think winning games of cricket are based on skill not emotion, but when you get the result you’re after I think that’s probably when you see the emotions come out,” he said.

“Hence the celebrations after we took that last wicket – the boys are pretty emotional in the changing room now.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: David Warner hits second century to extend lead

David Warner struck a second century in the match as Australia dominated India on the fourth day of the first Test at Adelaide.

First Test, Adelaide (day four):
Australia 517-7 dec & 290-5 v India 444

The 28-year-old batsman scored 102 to add to a first-innings 145 as the hosts reached 290-5, a lead of 363.

It is the second time this year he has scored a hundred in both innings of a Test.

Warner dedicated his century on the opening day to Australia batsman Phillip Hughes, who died last month.

Hughes, 25, died after being struck on the neck by a ball in a Sheffield Shield match.

Warner, who was dropped twice, was dismissed by Varun Aaron off a no-ball on 66.

The umpires intervened after Aaron gave Warner a vocal send-off, with the batsman responding in kind when recalled to the crease.

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli exchanged words in the final hour, prompting Warner to run from the other end of the pitch and confront the India captain.

“I don’t know if the temperatures got to 40 degrees-plus, but I think it was getting to a few people out there,” Warner said.

“They’re going to come at you and you just have to learn to bite your tongue a bit and sometimes you don’t.”

Earlier, off-spinner Nathan Lyon exploited considerable bounce in the pitch to claim 5-134 as India, resuming on 369-5, were bowled out for 444, a first-innings deficit of 73.

Smith, who made an unbeaten 162 in the first innings, ended the day 52 not out, Mitchell Marsh having hit 40 off 26 balls.

No side have chased more than 315 in the fourth innings to win a Test at Adelaide.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Michael Clarke hits century in first Test

Michael Clarke scored a century on day two of the opening Test against India, Australia’s first match since the death of batsman Phillip Hughes.

The captain, who retired hurt on 60 with a back problem on the first day in Adelaide, returned to make 128.

“The way he played speaks words for the guy,” said Steve Smith, who hit 162 not out as Australia reached 517-7.

The Test was delayed after Hughes, 25, died after being struck by a ball while playing for New South Wales.

Clarke, 33, helped carry his team-mate’s coffin and made an emotional speech at his funeral on 3 December.

Clarke, who received a standing ovation from the Adelaide Oval crowd after reaching three figures, celebrated his century by kissing his helmet and embracing Smith.

“He came out here and tried to do something for Hughesy,” said Smith. “He certainly did that.”

Smith also praised Clarke for his efforts over the past three weeks.

“It’s been tough for all of us, but he’s spent the whole time by Hughesy’s family’s side,” said Smith. “Just the strength and courage he’s showed throughout those times was unbelievable.”

Australian batsman David Warner also hit a century on day one of the Test and dedicated it to Hughes.

The Test is the first in a four-match series, which ends in January.

Read more at BBC Sport