Saturday, December 9, 2023

Lyon triggers batting collapse as India falter against Australia

Adelaide, Dec 13 (IANS) India succumbed to off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s guile, losing eight wickets for 110 runs in the final session to go down against Australia by 48 runs in the the first Test despite valiant knocks from skipper Virat Kohli (141) and opener Murali Vijay (99) on the fifth and final day at the Adelaide Oval here Saturday.

Man-of-the-Match Lyon scalped seven for 152 to bowl out India for 315, chasing a 364-run target, after the hosts declared their seconds at their overnight score of 290 for five.

After losing opener Shikhar Dhawan (9) and Cheteshwar Pujara (21) cheaply, India were well on course to chase down the huge total in 98 overs, courtesy of a superb paretnership batting display by Kohli and Vijay. But India lost the plot after Tea, losing their last eight wickets for only 73 runs to lose with 10.5 overs still to be bowled in the day to trail 0-1 in the four-match Test series.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson (two wickets) and fellow quick Ryan Harris (one) also contributed to the victory.

Vijay and Kohli shared a 148-run undefeated partnership for the third wicket till tea and the duo returned to extend their stand to 185 in the post tea session. Kohli first completed his century, becoming only the second player after former Australian batsman Gregg Chappell to record twin tons in a debut match as captain.

But, Lyon effected a double break, dismissing Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane (0) with the score at 242 to turn the match around. Rahane was out under controversial circumstances, as he was adjudged to have nicked a sharp turning delivery to short leg but TV replays showed that the ball had missed the bat only to hit the pad befor popping up.

The 27-year-old spinner then got into his elements, drawing got good purchase from the fifth day wicket, which offered him odd bounce and sharp turn.

Rohit Sharma (6) also got out in similar fashion, failing to negotiate a tricky Lyon delivery that bounced up after hitting a rough patch to kiss his gloves and land into the hands of David Warner at leg slip.

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (13), in the team because if an injury to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, failed to make most of a rare opportunity, getting bowled by Lyon to leave India at 277 for five with Kohli running out of partners.

But India’s hopes of a rare win Down Under evaporated when Kohli perished trying to the deep midwicket boundary only to find Mitchell Marsh. He hit 16 boundaries and a six during his stupendous effort.

India were reduced to 304 for seven after Kohli’s dismissal and folded soon after to return empty handed.

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