Australia pile on the misery

2012-01-26 10:33
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)

Adelaide - Australia took a massive 382-run lead after dismissing India cheaply on Thursday and opting to bat again rather than enforce the follow-on on the third day of the fourth Test in Adelaide.

Rising star Virat Kohli hit his maiden Test century and India's first of the series with a defiant 116 as the tourists, facing a 4-0 series wipeout, mustered just 272 in reply to Australia's imposing 604 for seven declared.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke chose not to send the Indians back in, giving his bowlers a breather from the sweltering conditions with a second innings declaration likely early Friday to give them time to chase another win.

At stumps, Australia were 50 for three with first innings heroes Clarke (9) and Ricky Ponting (1) at the crease.

Once again Australia lost their top three batsmen cheaply with David Warner, caught and bowled by Ravi Ashwin for 28, the out-of-sorts Shaun Marsh dismissed for a four-ball duck and Ed Cowan leg before wicket to Ashwin for 10.

Earlier Kholi showed India's garlanded senior batsman how it should be done by scoring a plucky maiden century in his eighth Test.

Sachin Tendulkar again came up short in his bid for an elusive 100th international hundred with 25.

Kohli, 23, clouted Clarke for a six and hit eight fours in his 213-ball knock after the tourists had slumped to 111 for five.

He put on 114 for the sixth wicket with debutant wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and leapt joyously into the air in celebration as he scampered through for a single to bring up his breakthrough hundred.

Paceman Peter Siddle starred with the ball taking five for 49 including the prized wickets of Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir (34) in the space of 10 balls, before snaring the struggling Virender Sehwag (18).

Siddle claimed Tendulkar's wicket for the third time in the series, enticing an edge off the record-breaking batsman which was scooped up low at second slip by Ricky Ponting.

The burly right-arm quick picked up Gambhir's wicket in his next over as the Indian opener tried to fend off a rising delivery which clipped the shoulder of his bat and was caught by a diving Mike Hussey at gully.

Spinner Nathan Lyon followed up with the wicket of misfiring V.V.S. Laxman for 18 shortly before lunch.

Laxman's miserable series continued when he edged a Lyon delivery into the gloves of Brad Haddin, taking his paltry series return to 120 runs from seven innings at 17.14.

Saha, playing in place of the suspended MS Dhoni, was bowled by Ryan Harris in the last over before tea for 35 - the only Indian wicket to fall in the middle session - ending a century partnership with Kohli.

Siddle removed Ashwin (5) and Zaheer Khan (0) with consecutive deliveries, before Ben Hilfenhaus mopped up the Indian innings with the wickets of Ishant Sharma (16) and Kohli, who he trapped leg before.

The Indians are facing a series humiliation after heavy losses in the opening three Tests.


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