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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Australia vs India Third Test: Day Four Review

India has clinched a historic victory over Australia at the WACA ground in Perth. The 72-run victory came though sheer excitement and suspense till the end of the match. Australia would have to make a new record of highest chasing total of this ground in order to win the match, which would break their own record held in 1977 when Australia successfully chased 339 runs in the fourth innings of the match against India.

Well, chasing a mammoth total of 413 runs is not easy in any given ground or any given team. However, Australia had the chance even till the end of the match and their tail-enders, especially Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson pushed India all the way, making a 73 run ninth wicket partnership. However, Australia finally failed to bring out a miracle as Stuart Clark fell to Irfan Pathan at his 32, leaving Australia 87 runs away from the victory. However, Mitchell Johnson carried on to reach his career first test half century and was not out at 50, when Shaun Tait got out as the last man, confirming an inspirational victory for India. Australia scored 340 all out in their second innings of the match.

However, earlier in the morning, Rickey Ponting and Mike Hussey started off well with previous day’s 65/2. Both Hussey and Ponting looked confident in their “near-half century” innings, but could not carry on playing big innings, which might turn the match in their way. Ponting scored 45 before falling to Ishant Sharma, while Hussey became the first victim of Rudra Pratap Singh after scoring 46 runs. However, it was Michael Clarke who led Australia to chase the target playing a superb innings of 81 runs. However, with his dismissal, it was written off Australia having any chance to win the match. However, Johnson-Clark drama later came as a surprise for India and those who had already seen Australia with no chance in the match.

Among the Indian bowlers, Irfan Pathan was most successful with three important wickets. Actually, he has proven his inclusion right with performance. Yesterday, Pathan picked up the wickets of two openers, which gave India edge over Australia. Then he brought the breakthrough for India picking up the wicket of Stuart Clark, which was the last blow for Australia from his locker.

Ishant Sharma was not impressive in the morning with some deliveries beating Ponting many times. Rudra Pratap Singh and Anil Kumble took two wickets apiece. Actually, Virender Sehwag’s two wickets in his first two overs were unexpected, but were definitely very important.

Well, India still 1-2 down in the series meaning India has to win the next test as well in order to avoid series lose. Now, let us see if India can continue their excellent form in the next match as well.

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