ALL SQUARE AS AUSSIES CRUM­BLE

Ash­win grabs six as In­dia level se­ries

New Straits Times - - Sport -

OFF-SPIN­NER Ravichan­dran Ash­win grabbed six wick­ets as In­dia stopped Aus­tralia in their tracks to win a fiery sec­ond Test and level the se­ries 1-1 yes­ter­day.

Aus­tralia, need­ing 188 for vic­tory, were bowled out for just 112 half-an-hour into the fi­nal ses­sion on day four at Ban­ga­lore’s M. Chin­naswamy Sta­dium.

Tem­pers frayed be­tween the world’s top two ranked sides as the hosts bounced back from a hu­mil­i­at­ing open­ing Test de­feat in Pune.

Ash­win (6-41), who bagged his 25th fivewicket haul in his 47th Test, took the fi­nal wicket of Nathan Lyon, caught and bowled for two, spark­ing cel­e­bra­tions among the In­dian play­ers.

“Af­ter los­ing the first Test the way we did, we wanted to bounce back and not show any­one but our­selves what we are made of,” said In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli.

Chetesh­war Pu­jara (92) and Ajinkya Ra­hane (52) put on a cru­cial 118-run part­ner­ship for In­dia's fifth wicket be­fore the Aus­tralian bowlers struck back in the morn­ing ses­sion.

But the tourists fal­tered in their run chase to leave the se­ries per­fectly poised head­ing in to the third Test in Ranchi from March 16.

“This after­noon didn’t go to plan,” said Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith.

“Ash­win did what he’s done so well over here for a very long time — hit good ar­eas and chal­lenged our bat­ters, and we weren’t up to it to­day.”

Aus­tralia started their sec­ond in­nings briskly, scor­ing at over four runs an over, but were soon rat­tled as Ash­win got into his groove, trap­ping a dan­ger­ous-look­ing David Warner lbw for 17.

Shaun Marsh be­came Ya­dav’s first lbw vic­tim as he tried to pad away an in-swing­ing de­liv­ery but was given out.

The bats­men de­cided not to waste their sin­gle re­main­ing re­view but TV re­plays sug­gested the ball would have missed the off stump by quite a dis­tance.

It was Smith’s dis­missal that brought the home crowd to its feet, how­ever, as Ya­dav’s de­liv­ery stayed low to hit the star bats­man’s lower pad for lbw.

Drama fol­lowed af­ter Smith ap­par­ently waited for a sig­nal from the dress­ing room to seek a re­fer­ral, some­thing he is not al­lowed to do, be­fore the on-field um­pire quickly ush­ered him away.

In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli was an­gry at Smith’s an­tics and the um­pires were re­quired to cool tem­pers down.

Ear­lier Aus­tralian pace bowler Josh Ha­zle­wood claimed ca­reer-best fig­ures of 667 to help bowl out In­dia for 274 be­fore lunch.

In­dia’s Ravichan­dran Ash­win (cen­tre fac­ing cam­era) cel­e­brat­ing with team­mates the dis­missal of Aus­tralia’s Peter Hand­scomb dur­ing the fourth day of their sec­ond Test yes­ter­day.

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