India withstood a spirited fight from the Australian side to seal a memorable win on Day 5 at Adelaide.
The tenth-wicket partnership of 32 runs between Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon took Australia within only 32 runs of the victory before the former was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin in the last over before Tea to help the visitors gain a 1-0 win in the four-match series.
Resuming at their overnight score of 104 for 4 in pursuit of 324 runs, Shaun Marsh led Australia’s resilience as he put on 41 runs with Tim Paine in the first session. He negated the off-spin deliveries of Ashwin, using fine footwork, which pushed the Tamil Nadu offie on the back-foot straightaway. He got to his fourth Test fifty and led the charge after Travis Head had lost his wicket early off Ishant Sharma.
Jasprit Bumrah, however, troubled Marsh consistently, forcing him to poke at deliveries outside off and challenging him with nagging lines. He eventually prized the senior Marsh brother caught behind. The next player Pat Cummins took on the responsibility of fighting along with the skipper and survived some nervy moments with two DRS reviews going in his favor in the same over. The first was when India’s keeper Rishabh Pant urged Virat Kohli to go for a review even when the ball had not hit the bat and the second was when he was given out but the TV reviews showed that the ball had hit his forearm.
Bumrah, who looked threatening throughout the day, returned to scalp Paine’s wicket, forcing him to top-edge a pull. With Cummins at the other end, Mitchell Starc played briskly before he was outgoing for an unnecessary drive off the bowling of Mohammad Shami. It gave Pant his 11th dismissal of the game, which equals the world record.
Just when India had thought that they had edged their way into the game, they were up against the pair of Nathan Lyon and Cummins, who put on 31 runs for the ninth wicket. Ashwin looked out of sorts and India’s trouble with wiping away the tail came back to haunt them as the target kept reducing and the wickets were hard to come by. Cummins’ 121-ball stay at the crease was ended by Bumrah, who got the batter to get an outside edge.
Australia still needed 64 runs, while India needed just a wicket to complete a historical win.
However, the last-wicket pair of Josh Hazlewood and Lyon forced India to break into a sweat. With a nothing-to-lose attitude, they went about their way for 68 balls and got the Aussies within 32 runs of the total. However, a low catch by KL Rahul ended the innings, as India managed to win their first game on Australia soil since 2007.
With this win, the Indian team became the first team in the history to register away wins in South Africa, England and Australia in the same year. It was also India’s first win in the first Test in Australia. The second Test of the series begins at Perth from 14th December 2018.
Brief scores: India 250 and 307 (KL Rahul 44, Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6-122) beat Australia 235 and 291 (Shaun Marsh 60, Tim Paine 41, Nathan Lyon 38*; Mohammed Shami 3-65, R Ashwin 3-92, J Bumrah 3-68) by 31 runs