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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India romp to historic win over Australia

India completed a crushing victory over Australia by a record margin of 320 runs in the second Test on Tuesday to seize a 1-0 lead in the four -match series.

Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan grabbed three wickets in four balls and Australia, chasing an improbable victory target of 516 runs, were dismissed for 195 before lunch. It was only Australia's second defeat in 28 Tests since their 2-1 loss in the 2005 Ashes series against England.

Both reverses have come against India. "We were outplayed," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said. "In batting, bowling and probably in fielding as well."

It was India's biggest ever Test win by runs, bettering their 280-run success over South Africa in Kanpur in 1996. Khan struck in the first over to dismiss Brad Haddin and snuff out any slim Australian hopes of salvaging a draw.

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke top-scored with 69 before being the last man out, pulling leg spinner Amit Mishra to mid-wicket. Mishra finished with a match haul of seven for 106 after claiming five wickets in the first innings on his Test debut.

An off-colour Australia, reduced to 141 for five overnight, subsided against pace and spin on a slow Mohali pitch. Khan struck his first blow when he bowled Haddin on his overnight score of 37 with a perfect off-stump yorker.

In the next over, he forced Cameron White (1) to edge a drive to give wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni a low catch and he bowled Brett Lee first ball to be on a hat-trick.

Clarke, who added 84 runs for the sixth wicket with Haddin, put on another 50 for the ninth with Mitchell Johnson (26) before Mishra had the tail-ender caught and bowled.

Harbhajan Singh took five wickets in the match to leave himself one short of becoming the third Indian bowler to claim 300 Test wickets.

Sachin Tendulkar claimed the world record for most Test runs and Sourav Ganguly struck 102 in his farewell series to help India amass 469 in their first innings. The first Test in Bangalore ended in a draw. The third Test starts in New Delhi on October 29.

Some interesting facts

What a memorable Test match this has been, Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run scorer and the first batsman to reach 12000 runs in Test cricket.

Sourav Ganguly became the fourth Indian to score 7000 Test runs before notching up his 16th Test century. Amit Mishra became the sixth Indian to take five wickets on Test debut.

Dhoni became only the third wicket-keeper batsman and captain to make half-centuries in both the innings of a Test.

Gautam Gambhir got his first Test century in India. And of course India registering their biggest Test match victory ever in terms of runs and it tastes sweeter as it has come against Australia.


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