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Friday, January 06, 2012

Indian candle flickers too briefly before Australian bowlers snuff it out to complete innings victory & 2-0 series lead

Australia 4/659 dec def India 191 & 400 (110.5 ov, Gambhir 83, Tendulkar 80, Laxman 66, Ashwin 62, Hilfenhaus 5/106) by an innings & 68 runs: T2/4 D4/5 at the SCG. Australia lead series 2-0.

India made a better fist of batting in their second innings but only when Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman were at the wicket  did they look like making Australia bat again. At least one, and preferably two of the three should have made a century, but none did. In fact the only centuries registered were by the bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus,  a worthy 5/106, and James Pattinson 1/106.

Gambhir fell at 162 for 83/142b (11x4), then Tendulkar and Laxman added 103 before Michael Clarke sealed (as if there were any doubt anyway) the Man of the Match award by having Sachin caught at slip for a stylish yet in the circumstances (not only of the closeness to 100 centuries) 80/141b (9x4). Laxman left three runs later bowled by Hilfenhaus for 66/119b (7x4), after which R Ashwin 62/76b (1x6, 9x4)  and Zaheer Khan 35/ 26 b (1x6, 5x4) hit out in a forlorn quest for victory.

So Australia can't lose the series. Can India regroup enough to win one match let alone level the series? They should be able to claw back one Test if they perform anywhere near  their collective and individual reputations (and Australia eases off a bit). But level the series? Doubtful.


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