India beat Aussies by 75 runs, level series
BENGALURU, 7th MARCH: Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin led with a six-wicket haul as In-dia defeated Australia by 75 runs with a day to spare in the second cricket Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday. Chasing a target of 188 runs, Australia were all out for 112 in their second innings shortly after tea on the penultimate day. India have now levelled the four-Test series at 1-1.The Indians bowled su-perbly on a pitch which has developed quite a few cracks, making it difficult for batting.Ashwin did the most dam-age with figures of 6/41. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav displayed excellent speed and swing to return 2/30 while fellow pac-er Ishant Sharma and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja bagged a wicket each.The Australians found it dif-ficult to score against Jadeja who gave away only three runs in his eight overs which included five maidens.
Ashwin is now the most successful bowler in the 2016-17 season with 89 wickets. He is the fastest ever to reach 25 five-wicket hauls, achieving the feat in 88 innings ahead of Sri Lankan great Mutthi-ah Muralithaaran (100) and legendary New Zealand fast bowler Richard Hadlee (111).The Chennai spinner is also the fastest Indian bowler to take 200 Test wickets in India, reaching the landmark in 30 Test matches.He has gone past Bishen Singh Bedi to be fifth on the list of highest wicket takers for India with 269 scalps, be-hind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.Indian opener Lokesh Ra-hul was declared Man of the Match. Having dismissed the hosts for 274 in their second innings, the visitors ran into trouble early in their second essay as young opener Matt Renshaw was caught behind off Ishant's bowling. Ashwin trapped the oth-er opener David Warner leg before Umesh was rewarded for his excellent bowling with the wickets of Australian cap-tain Steven Smith and Shaun Marsh.
That put the pressure on the visitors and Ashwin rammed home the advantage by send-ing back Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade in quick suc-cession.The Australian batting dis-integrated quickly after tea, as they lost their remaining four wickets in just under eight overs.Ashwin bowled Mitchell Starc with one that did not turn too much after pitching before Jadeja got rid of Steve O'Keefe.Peter Handscomb, the last recognised batsman, virtually handed his wicket to Ashwin while attepting a slog before the off-spinner pulled off a caught and bowled attempt just two balls later to dismiss Nathan Lyon and complete the win.The visitors lost their last six wickets for just 11 runs, which is their joint third big-gest six-wicket collapse. It was also their joint second biggest collapse against India.Earlier during the morn-ing session, Josh Hazlewood clinched a six-wicket haul as India were dismissed for 274 runs in their second innings.Hazlewood had figures of 6/74 while fellow pacer Mitch-ell Starc and spinner Steve O'Keefe took two wickets each.Hazlewood's figures were the best in his career so far and the best bowling figures by an Australian pacer since Geoff Dymock took 7/67 in Kanpur in 1979.
For India, Cheteshwar Pu-jara top scored with 92.Resuming at the over-night score of 213/4, Pujara and Ajinkaya Rahane batted steadily for the first half hour or so. But the introduction of the second new ball saw a dramat-ic change in fortunes as Ha-zlewood and Starc produced a devastating spell which saw five wickets fall in 19 balls.Rahane was the first to go, almost immediately after his half-century. The Mumbai batsman fell to an astute call by Australian skipper Steven Smith who decided to call for the review after the umpire had given a not out decision to a loud lbw appeal from Starc.Smith stood vindicated as the third umpire reversed the on-field official's decision and sent Rahane on his way.Starc struck again with his very next ball, uprooting Karun Nair's middle stump with a fast inswinger to send the batsman back to the pavil-ion with a golden duck.
Wriddhiman Saha walked in to deny Starc his hattrick with an inside edge on to his pads even as the Australians came up with another loud appeal for lbw. There was more trouble in store for the hosts in the next over. Pujara fell in the 90s for the first time in his career when some extra bounce from a Hazlewwood delivery took the shoulder of his bat for a simple catch to Mitchell Marsh at gully.Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed only a couple of balls later when a Hazlewood de-livery came in sharply after pitching outside the off stump and beat the outside edge of an attempted drive before crash-ing into the stumps.Hazlewood completed his six-wicket haul in his next over when Umesh Yadav lofted one to David Warner at mid-off.Saha and Ishant Sharma then came up with a late part-nership to push the hosts' lead to 187.