Laxman guides India to victory

2010-10-05 10:24

Mohali - Venkatsai Laxman defied a back injury to make an unbeaten 73 as India snatched a remarkable one-wicket victory from the jaws of defeat in the opening Test against Australia on Tuesday.

Needing 216 to win, India were facing defeat at 124/8 before Laxman came to his team's rescue with a brave knock under pressure on the fifth and final day, guiding his side to a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Batting with a runner because of a stiff back, Laxman was well supported by tail-ender Ishant Sharma, who made a defiant 31 in an 81-run stand for the ninth wicket before being trapped leg-before by Ben Hilfenhaus (4-57).

Australia's last chance of winning the match came when left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson began his 17th over to last-man Pragyan Ojha, with India requiring six runs to win.

Ojha survived a confident appeal for leg-before and then an overthrow for four runs by substitute fielder Steven Smith considerably eased the pressure on India. The match ended with two leg-byes.

Laxman, who averages more than 50 in Tests against Australia, continued to flourish against them and reached his half-century in style off just 48 balls, pulling paceman Hilfenhaus for a four. His 79-ball knock contained eight fours.

India were under tremendous pressure after losing their eighth wicket at 124, but Laxman and Sharma held their nerve to sink Australia's hopes.

Sharma grew in confidence as the match progressed, hitting five fours in his 92-ball knock.

Fast bowler Doug Bollinger earlier grabbed two wickets in the morning session to keep alive Australia's hopes of winning the match.

Bollinger dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (38), the world's leading run-getter in both Tests and one-day internationals, in his second over.

Australia started the day with spin from one end and pace from the other, enjoying success in the seventh over when spinner Nathan Hauritz had nightwatchman Zaheer Khan (10) caught by Michael Clarke at first slip.

Hilfenhaus, who rattled India with three big wickets in the final session on Monday, beat the bat on a few occasions in his opening spell on a wearing track but failed to find the edge.

Tendulkar took no risks and waited patiently for loose deliveries to punish, driving and flicking off-spinner Hauritz for two fours. He later steered Hilfenhaus past gully for another boundary.

Australia celebrated when Tendulkar cut Bollinger to gully, where Michael Hussey took a good catch. The Indian hit five fours in his 64-ball knock, completing 1,000 Test runs this year in the process.

Pressure became the name of the game when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked in to bat, with his team needing 97 to win with only four wickets in hand.

Dhoni did not last long, making only two runs before being caught short of the crease by a direct-hit at the striker's end from Hilfenhaus who ran in from mid-off to throw down the stumps.

Australia continued to maintain the pressure and soon dismissed tail-ender Harbhajan Singh, caught by skipper Ricky Ponting in the slips off Bollinger for two.

The second and final Test starts in Bangalore on October 9.



V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, SK Raina, MS Dhoni (captain & wk), Harbhajan Singh, I Sharma, Z Khan, PP Ojha


SR Watson, SM Katich, RT Ponting (captain), MJ Clarke, MEK Hussey, MJ North, TD Paine (wk), NM Hauritz, MG Johnson, BW Hilfenhaus, DE Bollinger


  • India - 2010-10-05 10:30

    Chakde INDIA!!!!!. Geatest number one ranked test team in the world.

  • Middle Stump - 2010-10-05 10:40

    Looks like Gary Kirstin is doing a sterling job with India.Quiet behind the scenes professionalism - and the players are responding to what ever it is he has brought to the team make up. Well done Gazza - hopefully CSA will appreciate your hard earned skills one day !!

  • shane - 2010-10-05 10:49

    VVS Laxman is and had been one of the most talented and gifted batsmen of all time. he has that extra magic about him that more successful batsmen in terms of records dont have. he can carry a tail and bat with determination and obviously his class as always. no wonder why he is really called VVS- very very special.

  • James1 - 2010-10-05 11:02

    Go India

  • Bharat - 2010-10-05 11:16

    VVS has always been the thorn against the Australians. Well done

  • India Sucks - 2010-10-05 11:22

    THe most undeserving ranked team in the world. Only won because of bad umpiring.

  • colin - 2010-10-05 11:35

    Always good to see the Aussies losing! They have long had an arrogant attitude on the crickrt pitch.

  • Sticky wicket - 2010-10-05 11:38

    And all the bookies smiled from ear to ear!!!!

  • Ian - 2010-10-05 11:40

    Dammit, thought Hilfenhaus had them done & dusted. Surprised Ponting opted to use Hauritz at the tail instead of using Hilfy, Bollinger & Johnson to go for the kill in circulation. Was hoping Australia would pull off a victory as their fightback was mighty impressive. VVS is a quality act against Australia. Great spectacle for test cricket and cricket in general after all this spot-fixing drama we've had to deal with.

  • MACK IN THE SLIPS - 2010-10-05 12:05

    "they tied the kangaroo's down sport....they tied them kangaroo's down !

  • Raj - 2010-10-05 12:06

    Would be nice if they livened up the track a bit.

  • John - 2010-10-05 12:44

    Brilliant Laxman - beating the ozzies, especially with that little rat ponting as the losing captain, is always fun, but to do it so narrowly, and snatch victory from defeat, is much sweeter. And the two ridiculous lbw decisions that were given out against the indians - justice well served. Plus Gary Kirsten, our very own, is India's victorious coach! Well done Gary - you have given me a second team to support.

  • Todd@India Sucks - 2010-10-05 13:03

    Wow you are a complete moron... Was ishant sharma out when given out lbw? Was Gambhir out when given out lbw? Why was Katich not given out when he was plumb in front? There are bad decisions always in cricket, in this test match most of it was against India bar the one of Ojha which u are referring to. Please watch the whole test match and then keep ur idiotic comments to yourself. Are you mad that you left SA for Australia and now the aussies are getting there a##es handed to them? Too bad...Dumb***!!!

  • @Todd - 2010-10-05 15:40

    Maybe I am like those awful South African Indians who always come on these forums and post rubbish when the Proteas lose.

  • Raaj L - 2010-10-05 20:57

    Hi, Great victory of india today. I was about to miss, but suddenly i found and watched match online on this web. Great work india!

  • Billabong - 2010-10-06 06:34

    It seems that it's not just Billy Bowden's finger that's croocked. Damn idiot felt sorry for India and didn't give the plumbest of lbw decisions. Funny how Ravi Shastri just talked it away quickly to divert the attention to it. Why was the referrel system not in use. Oh yeah its India - probably collapsed with their bridges or a snake ate it.

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