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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Australia blow it after good start:

Australia 7/273 (104 ov, Cowan 86, Warner 71, Smith 58*, Jadeja 3/56) v India T3/4 D2/5 at Mohali.

After a troubled week and the loss off a day to rain Australia took advantage of first use of the wicket and some good weather only to yield to India's tight bowling and end an extended first day in a poor position.

David Warner & Ed Cowan batted to lunch and beyond, Warner solid but occasionally cutting loose, Cowan toughing it out in survival mode. Well as the Indians, especially Ravi Ashwin, bowled they couldn't break through until at 139 Ravindra Jadeja, the third (or bots and pieces) spinner combined with MS Dhoni to dismiss David Warner caught for 71/147b (9x4) and, next ball,Michael Clarke - self promoted to no3 - stumped advancing down the wicket.

Thereafter things went India's way as the bowlers took advantage of the turn and bounce (or lack thereof) offered by the pitch. Of Phil Hughes's 2/31b no more need be said (though no doubt his many critics will).

Cowan seemed to retreat into his shell at a time when a few more strokes might have taken some of the pressure off the other batsmen. His labours of concentration and stroke play fatigued him and at 198 he fell toAshwin for 86/238b (8x6). No doubt his (also many) critics will berate him for failing to score a double (or triple) century.

Australia has Steven Smith 58*/137b(1x6, 7x4) to thank for a modest recovery to 7/273. But this, or even a few more, runs is hardly likely to be able to slow, led alone step, India's march to a series triumph.32

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