• Australia square up series as India crumble

    India lost their last five wickets for 28 runs on the final morning of the second Test at Perth as Australia powered their way to a 146-run win to square the Test series 1-1.

    India added just seven runs to their overnight score of 112-5 when Hanuma Vihari was caught by Marcus Harris at midwicket off Mitchell Starc for 28 off 75 balls (4×4) to expose the Indian tail.

    Rishabh Pant scored all 18 runs of the seventh wicket stand with Umesh Yadav before Pant couldn’t resist the opportunity to heave Nathan Lyon to leg, where Peter Handscomb took a stunning diving catch to reduce India to 137-7.

    Yadav fell two runs later for two off 23 balls, Mitchell Starc taking the catch off his own bowling after having given Yadav a pounding with some fiery short-pitched bowling.

    Pat Cummins mopped up the last two wickets, removing Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the space of four deliveries, both without scoring.

    READ ALSO: Aussies stumble after pegging India back

    Australia had produced a terrific bowling and fielding display to roll India out for 140 off 56 overs to square the series in what had been an enthralling and highly competitive Test match.

    Starc returned 3-46 in the second innings, with Josh Hazlewood (2-24) and Cummins (2-25) also superb, but Australia’s hero with the ball was Nathan Lyon, whose 3-39 (econ 2.05) included the key wickets of Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Pant. Lyon picked up the Player of the Match honours for his match figures of 8-106.

    ‘Haven’t had one (a victory) in a while. It’s fair to say we’ve been in a drought, so good to break. Was special to wrap the tail up quickly. When you come up against the best players, to compete against Virat and take his wicket was pretty special,’ said Lyon after Australia’s first Test win since the Test match against South Africa in Durban earlier in the year.

    Watch: Kohli’s classic century in Perth

    ‘Every team wants a spinner like Nathan Lyon. He loves bowling to the best players in the world,’ added Aussie skipper Tim Paine. ‘First Test win has taken a while. It was a difficult Test, both have been tough Tests. Two really competitive sides with good fast bowling attacks.’

    ‘As a team, I think we played well in patches which we can hold on to. Australia played much better than us with the bat,’ said Indian skipper Kohli. ‘330 on that pitch we felt was a bit too much. They deserved to win. We had the belief we could do it, but they were more relentless and put us in trouble. We never thought we wanted to consider a spinner, thought four fast bowlers would be enough. When you don’t win you don’t really rank your performances, so it’s irrelevant because we didn’t get the result we wanted. I’m just focused on the next Test.’

    The third Test starts on 26 December at Melbourne.


    Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Post by

    Simon Lewis