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Friday, December 12, 2014

Lyon bowls, Warner bats Australia to dominant position v India though umpiring below par: T1D4


Australia 7/517d & 5/290 (69ov, 102/166b/1x6 11x4, Smith 52/64b/5x4) lead India 444 (116.4ov, Kohli 115, Pujara 73, Rahane 62, Vijay 53, R Sharma 43, Lyon 36-4-134-5, Siddle 2/88, Johnson 2/102) by 363 runs with 5 2nd inns wkts in hand: T1/4 D4/5 at Adelaide Oval.

In the extended ( to make up for time lost to rain earlier in the match- the sun shone throughout today's play) Nathan Lyon worked through India's tail, giving Australia a relatively modest first innings lead of 73. The  David Warner led a more modest than in the first iinnings but nevertheless effective charge against a  (for the most part) more disciplined India attack. 

By the end of the day, during the latter part of which a wheel or two had fallen off India's carriage thanks to some late slogging and flabby responses, Australia are well placed to declare overnight and press for victory tomorrow, when 98 overs (not the usual 90) are to be bowled.

Lyon deserved his five wickets. He took some punishment at times but when it really mattered, like yesterday afternoon and early today, bowled an off stump to right handers line which took advantage of the increasing turn and bounce provided by the fourth day drop in pitch (which we'd been promised would happen though I was inclined until today to disbelieve). To left handers he was even better: he befuddled Karn Sharma and softened him up for Peter Siddle, who claimed his wicket.

When Australia batted even Warner was, at least for a time, circumspect in the face of an Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami opening attack. Virat Kohli switched bowlers frequently, leaving Varun Aaron until some of the lesser and slower lights had had a bowl. 

Warner looked assured enough until he reached 66, when Aaron bowled him neck and crop. He was well on the way to the pavilion before the third umpire advised that the delivery was a palpable no-ball. The TV replay which I've subsequently seen not only confirms this but also raises the question why umpire Gould didn't see it in the first place. His failure, and the way it played out on the Oval, with a temporarily crestfallen Warner restored to batting life by technology, sandpapered some of the India team. It 's all very well to tut tut about spirit of the game etc but to me watching it seemed that Gould, and maybe the system which seems designed to support him and other umpires rather than getting to the truth asap, had failed. And failed badly. 

That said, Australia have the upper hand, and therefore a good chance of victory tomorrow. The sun is forecast to shine (est max 34C) , as it did today (32C), so play should proceed without interruption from the elements. Whether it does so without umpire ineptitude interfering remains to be seen.

I'll be going tomorrow to see if Australia can bowl out India, not watch Ian Gould and Marais Erasmus umpire.

<a href="http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia-v-india-2014-15/engine/match/754737.html">Scorecard<a/>







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