Lyon bowls Australia to victory


Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Nathan Lyon secured his maiden international 10-wicket haul as Australia finally ended India’s dogged resistance on the final day to win the first Test by 48 runs in Adelaide.

Lyon recorded bowling figures of seven for 152 in the second innings and 12 for 286 for the match to see Australia to victory, after Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay’s third-wicket partnership of 185 had put India in prime position at one point.

But Lyon removed Vijay when the Indian opener was on 99, before the off-spinner ended skipper Kohli’s innings on 141 as the match swung the hosts’ way after the tea interval.

The victory, in Australia’s first match since the death of batsman Phillip Hughes 16 days ago, was soured somewhat by a hamstring injury to captain Michael Clarke, who could miss the remainder of the four-match series.

Having declared before the start of Saturday’s play to set India a target of 364 for victory, Australia made early inroads when Mitchell Johnson fired in a trademark bouncer and Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged to have gloved to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, although replays suggested the delivery made contract with the batsman’s shoulder.

Lyon entered the action and found plenty of turn straight away, but a straighter delivery led to Cheteshwar Pujara’s demise as the number three misjudged the subtle turn and could only edge behind to leave India two down with 57 on the board.

India were then happy to fend off plenty of deliveries with their pads, including several which replays showed heading for the stumps, but Australian appeals fell on deaf ears as Vijay and Kohli methodically built the partnership which looked like saving the Test match for the tourists.

Vijay was particularly lucky in the 16th over with what looked a clear lbw from Lyon, replays suggesting it was heading for low on leg stump.

And there was further bad news for Australia midway through the afternoon session as Clarke, who has already been hampered by a back problem, pulled up while stooping to field the ball and departed to have scans on his right hamstring.

The further the game went on, thoughts of whether India could save the match turned to ideas they might even win it as they reached tea on 205 for two, needing 159 from the 37 overs still to come.

The final session began with yet another big lbw shout, with a delivery from Lyon pitching in line and striking Kohli low on the pads, but again Australian appeals were in vain.

When India were on 236 for two, there was the unusual sight of both batsmen being on 99.

Kohli cracked three figures for the second time in the Test with a quick single off Ryan Harris but there was heartache for Vijay as Lyon finally got the lbw call he had craved to leave him stranded one shy of a century.

It was the breakthrough Australia needed, and Ajinkya Rahane faced only five balls before he was sent back for a duck, missing Lyon’s delivery completely as it struck him low on the pad as India stuttered to 242 for four.

Lyon tricked Rohit Sharma into fending to leg slip and then secured his second five-wicket bag of the match and a maiden 10-wicket Test haul in the process when his delivery snuck through the gap between bat and pad and bowled Wriddhiman Saha.

Kohli’s majestic innings then came to a close when he miscued Lyon to deep mid-wicket where Mitchell Marsh held on to give Australia their seventh wicket and the breakthrough they really needed.

India were down and almost out as Harris and Johnson then claimed the wickets of Mohammed Shami and Varun Aaron to leave Australia on the brink of victory.

Ishant Sharma’s resistance lasted only four balls before he advanced down the wicket to Lyon and was promptly stumped by Haddin to cue celebratory scenes amongst the Baggy Green.

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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