Monday, June 27, 2022

Warner puts Aussies on top as Adelaide Test turns feisty


Warner’s batting again caused trouble for India, scoring 102 to go with his emotional first-day 145 as Australia built a healthy lead in the first of the four-Test series.

At the close, the Australians had extended their overall lead to 363 runs at 290 for five, with an overnight declaration expected. First-innings centurion Steve Smith was 52 not out and Brad Haddin was on 14.

The home side went after runs late in the day and Mitchell Marsh clubbed leg-spinner Karn Sharma for three sixes and a four in one over before he was caught on the ropes for 40 off 26 balls going after another six.

The highest successful run chase at the Adelaide Oval remains 315 for six by Australia against England in 1902.

But it was a day marked by confrontations and English umpire Ian Gould had to step in as players exchanged terse words and pointed fingers at each other.

The first spat came after Warner was bowled by express paceman Varun Aaron for 66 in the 34th over, only to be recalled when replays showed Aaron had sent down a no-ball.

Aaron had given Warner a loud send-off, but the pugnacious opener responded in kind when he was recalled to the crease.

Shane Watson, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan all joined in, exchanging sharp words before umpire Gould eventually calmed down the warring parties.

Unpredictable turn

Tensions again rose when Smith and Kohli came together, prompting Warner to run down from the other end of the pitch and come face-to-face with the India captain before Gould again restored peace.

Warner, dropped on 89, was finally out in the 60th over when he was bowled around his legs by Karn Sharma.

The Indians also claimed the wickets of Chris Rogers (21), Watson (33) and skipper Michael Clarke (7), but with each run Australia were making the task even more difficult for the tourists on a wearing pitch heading into Saturday’s final day.

The Australians took charge after dismissing the tourists for 444 before lunch to open a 73-run lead.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed his sixth five-wicket Test haul to bowl Australia into a handy lead over India in the extended morning session.

Lyon captured five for 134 off 36 overs as India unravelled after resuming at 369 for five.

The tourists lost five wickets for 75 on the fourth morning, with Lyon leading the way with his unpredictable turn out of the bowlers’ footmarks.

Lyon, coming off a poor series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates where he captured three Test wickets at an average of 140, thanked India paceman Ishant Sharma for creating demons in the Adelaide Oval pitch with his bowling footmarks.

It was an outstanding piece of cricket by Lyon that triggered the breakthrough 47 minutes into the morning session when he brilliantly caught Rohit Sharma for 43 off his own bowling.

Lyon dived across the pitch and snapped up a two-handed catch just off the ground to dismiss Sharma and enable the Australians to expose the Indian tail. (AFP)


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