Australia were trailing by 187 runs with six wickets in hand at the end of day’s play in Brisbane after bowling India out in the morning. A rejuvenated Josh Hazlewood dominated the first session to return with a maiden five-wicket haul on debut. He was well complemented by Nathan Lyon to claim the remaining six visitors’ wickets and restrict them to 408 runs. Umesh Yadav then claimed three of Australia’s wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin picked one to keep the match evenly poised. When play was called off due to bad light, Steven Smith was batting on 65 with Mitchell Marsh on seven.
India struck early in the second session and claimed the key wicket of the inform David Warner after the visitors took field. The opener looked in good nick as he repeatedly found the boundary especially off Ishant Sharma and scored at a quick pace. But his run was short lived as Umesh Yadav induced an edge with the short ball that carried to the slips. Back in the playing eleven, the paceman clocked the fastest ball of the day as he ran in hard along with Varun Aaron and Ishant.
Shane Watson then joined Chris Rogers and the pair batted patiently for 11 overs to add 51 to the total until Ravichandran Ashwin ended the stand on the first ball of the 12th over of the partnership. In an attempt to clear the in-field, Watson was caught at mid-on by Shikhar Dhawan.
Meanwhile Chris Rogers had worked his way watchfully towards fifty. After the departure of Watson, the opener punched Aaron to the fence and collected two more boundaries in the next to take the team past 100. And in the following over, the opener cut Ashwin for four and bring up his half-century and looked set for a bigger knock. However, at the stroke of tea the opener was caught down the leg-side by Dhoni to end a blossoming innings and shift the balance. With Steven Smith on six, Australia went in to tea at 121/3.
Shaun Marsh came out to bat with the stand-in Australia captain in the last session and the pair prodded on. Smith looked in sublime touch while Shaun bided his time at the crease. The left-hand batsman soon gained momentum as he struck Ishant through the on-side to collect a couple of boundaries in an over and soon caught up with the captain.
The pair gleaned runs of the bowlers and in the latter half of the last session, Smith lofted Ashwin over long-on for six and slammed the off-spinner for a straight hit over the ropes to collect 16 runs from the over. The partnership began to take shape as the batsmen settled in under the dark skies at the Gabba.
Batting confidently, Smith, who had remained unbeaten in his last two outings, reached fifty with a single off Ashwin. In the following over, Shaun Marsh was let off by Ajinkya Rahane off Aaron while on 32. The batsman’s miscued pull went high in the air and the fielder placed himself under it but the ball slipped through his fingers. However, the dropped chance didn’t cost India anything. An over later Ashwin took the catch above his head at first slip to send Shaun back.
Mitchell Marsh who had limped off the field on the first day then made his way to the middle. At 221/4 play was suspended due to bad light and could not be resumed.
Earlier, Hazlewood hit the deck hard, found the right lengths on the off-stump and in return got purchase from the wicket. In his second over of the day, the young fast bowler took the edge off Ajinkya Rahane’s bat with a delivery that swung late and was caught by the wicketkeeper. And seven runs later, Rohit Sharma pushed at a Watson delivery and Smith took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his right in the slips.
Ravichandran Ashwin then joined MS Dhoni in the middle to add useful runs to the total. The India skipper took body blows as they built a partnership while the lower-order bat milked the bowlers with relative ease. However, Hazlewood once again came to the hosts’ rescue and ended the partnership for 57. He induced an outside edge off Ashwin’s bat and Watson took the catch close to his chest in the slips. The India captain was the next to return to the pavilion with lunch in sight. The ball brushed past the bat and through to Haddin behind the wickets.
After that it was a matter of time before the Australians wrapped-up the tail. At the stroke of lunch Nathan Lyon ended Aaron’s nervy stay in the middle. While the lower-order bat looked to defend, the ball struck bat-pad and went up in the air and substitute took the catch diving forward.
With one wicket remaining the session was extended, but not for long. In his next over the off-spinner accounted for Umesh Yadav who perished sweeping the ball to deep mid-wicket to bowl India out for an addition of 97 runs to the overnight total.
End of Day 1: India 1st inn 311/4 in 83 overs (M Vijay 144, A Rahane 75*, R Sharma 26*, J Hazlewood 2/44)
End of Day 2: India 1st inn 408 all out in 109.4 overs (A Rahane 81, J Hazlewood 5/68, N Lyon 3/105); Australia 1st inn 221/4 in 52 overs (S Smith 65*, C Rogers 55, U Yadav 3/48)
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