Match report: Ind vs Aus – 3rd Test, Day 5
With a six-wicket win in a rain-curtailed match that was played over four days, India took a 3-0 unassailable lead in the four-Test series against Australia. In a last-day, last-hour finish at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, India held their nerve and marched across the line to lift the Border-Gavaskar trophy as Australia were unable to force a draw.
Facing a 133-run target India were kept in check by the Australian attack. Cheteshwar Pujara came out to open the innings with Murali Vijay in place of Shikhar Dhawan. With time ticking by on the Test, the opening pair put together 30 runs in seven overs, before tea was taken. However, Xavier Doherty struck to remove Pujara soon after the final session commenced, which brought out Virat Kohli to the middle. 28 runs later, Pujara was sent back by Nathan Lyon. Sachin Tendulkar then joined Kohli and the duo took India within 45 runs of victory, before the mandatory 15 overs commenced. Later, India lost Kohli to Siddle, adding to the palpable tension as the close of play neared. But with veteran cricketer Tendulkar in the middle along with skipper MS Dhoni, the target was getting closer. However, in a moment of panic, Tendulkar was run out by a brilliant piece of fielding by David Warner.
With India still 17 runs short of the target. Ravindra Jadeja took guard and got off the mark with a boundary over mid-off and followed it up with another one. Then, Dhoni struck three more in a row to take India over the ropes in the next over.
Earlier, India had their task cut out for them when they took the field on the fifth morning. After the Indian spinners walloped the middle order, a late resistance by Brad Haddin and lower-order bat Mitchell Starc in alliance with Doherty stretched the Australian second innings well into the pen-ultimate session of the game.
Pragyan Ojha got the ball rolling for India by claiming Nathan Lyon in the seventh over of the day. Australian captain, Michael Clarke, was the next to depart as he hit Jadeja to Pujara at short-leg. Then, Ravichandran Ashwin returned to trap Phillip Hughes leg-before and tilted the match in the home team’s favour. Jadeja then took a brilliant return catch to remove Moises Henriques and put India firmly in the driver’s seat, while Ojha returned to uproot Siddle’s off-stump.
But Starc joined Brad Haddin in the middle and extended Australia’s stay in the middle and saw them through the session without losing any more wickets. However, the partnership was halted nine runs into the second session by Ashwin when he sent back Haddin to bring in the last man, Doherty. With the last pair stretching the Australian innings, Tendulkar also rolled his arm and almost ended the partnership. However, a missed chance by Pujara at silly point gave the No.11 a lease on life. The duo resisted the Indian bowlers for more than an hour into the second session to take the lead to 132, before Jadeja ended the partnership for 44.
Man of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan for his game-changing 187 on Test debut.
Brief scores: India won
At the end of Day 4: Australia 2nd innings 223 all out in 89.2 overs (P Hughes 69, M Starc 35, R Jadeja 3/35, PP Ojha 2/46); India 2nd innings 136/4 in 33.3 overs (V Kohli 34, MS Dhoni 18*, R Jadeja 8*)
At the end of Day 4: India 1st innings 499 all out in 132.1 overs (S Dhawan 187, M Vijay 153, V Kohli 67*, P Siddle 5/71, M Starc 2/74); Australia 2nd innings 75/3 in 21 overs (P Hughes 53*, N Lyon 4*, B Kumar 3/25)
At the end of Day 3: Australia 1st innings 408 all-out in 141.5 overs (S Starc 99, S Smith 92, I Sharma 3/72, R Jadeja 3/77); India 1st innings 283/0 in 58 overs (S Dhawan 185*, M Vijay 83*)
At the end of Day 2: Australia 1st innings 273/7 in 104 overs (Ed Cowan 86, D Warner 71, S Smith 58*, M Starc 20*, R Jadeja 3/56, I Sharma 2/41)
At the end of Day 1: No play due to rain