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Saturday, January 19, 2008

India win (quite) comfortably:Third Test Day 4

India 330 and 294 defeated Australia 212 and 340 (M Clarke 81, M Johnson 50*, I Pathan 3-54) by 72 runs with a day to spare.

India eventually won, though by a smaller margin than, when Ricky Ponting was dismissed by Ishant Sharma for 45 at 3/117,
seemed likely.

Michael Clarke's 81/134b was the most productive innings, but when he was eighth out at 253 the game was effectively over. Except that Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark thought otherwise. They added 73 in 78b and put the wind up the Indians before their Mr Fixit Irfan Pathan (why didn't he play the first two tests?) removed Clark. Shaun Tait, who has never played in a winning Australian team and, it has to be said, didn't contribute much in this game, followed soon after leaving Johnson 50 no/80b (5x4, 2x6).

India deserved to win. They did so because they had fewer passengers than in the first two tests. I wonder what would have happened had Pathan and Virender Sehwag (two useful innings and a brace of second innings wickets) played then. While his figures suggest that Ishant Sharma has done little on the ground he's troubled most of the Australian top order batsmen. Perhaps a better return is just around the corner.

At least the Adelaide Test will not be bereft of interest.

Cricinfo Bulletin.
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