India lose openers in pursuit of 500 in Adelaide Test

Virender Sehwag slammed 12 boundaries in his innings of 62 off 53 balls Getty Images

Adelaide: Jan 27, 2012

Virender Sehwag smashed his way to a half century in customary fashion and then a perished due to a moment’s indiscretion as India reached 92 for two at tea, on the fourth day of their final cricket Test against Australia.

The stand-in captain slammed his way to 62 before he mistimed a rank full-toss from offie Nathan Lyon as Ricky Ponting took a simple catch. One would have expected a bit more sensible approach from Sehwag as India are trying to save the Test match after Australia set a huge victory target of 500 runs.

His partner Gautam Gambhir (3) had departed in the fifth over itself when he pushed at a delivery from Ryan Harris which pitched in the off-middle region and then moved a shade.

The resultant edge was collected by ‘keeper Brad Haddin.

Rahul Dravid (19 batting) and Sachin Tendulkar (7 batting) were battling at the crease.

The visitors need to bat out four sessions or make 408 runs from now on.

It was Sehwag who dominated the second session as he reached his half century off only 36 balls with 11 hits to the fence. Sehwag’s first two boundaries in a Ben Hilfenhaus over were streaky shots between the slip cordon and the third one too, again off Hilfenhaus was an uppish hit over slips but thereafter the right-handed opener batted with increasing command.

The introduction of Peter Siddle triggered an aggressive response from Sehwag who first punched him through covers, slammed down the next past mid-off and then again cleared the cover fence. Siddle tried to bowl straighter and avoid giving the width to Sehwag yet the latter square cut him for boundary in the next over.

Sehwag was now firing on all cylinders and square cut Ben Hilfenhaus at the other end to enter into 40s. The introduction of Lyon was too tempting for Sehwag to resist himself as he first punched the off-spinner through the covers and then lofted him to raise his half century off only 36 balls with 11 fours.

Sehwag was now in full flow and slammed Siddle through the covers to enter into 60s. But that was as far as Sehwag went as after the drinks, in the first over by Lyon, he came down the track to Lyon and somehow contrived to loft it into the covers.

Sehwag’s rollicking innings with a disappointing end lasted 82 minutes and 53 balls and contained 12 hits to the fence. Tendulkar lofted Lyon to midwicket fence almost as soon as he came on to the crease.

Dravid was dour but unsure during his 81-minute stay, making 19 off 58 balls with three fours.

Earlier Australia, resuming at lunch-time score of 154 for 5, declared after a mere three overs, and batting just long enough to give India a target of 500 runs in the fourth innings. Ricky Ponting helped himself to another useful knock remaining unbeaten on 60 as Australia declared at 167 for five. (PTI)

Brief Scores: Australia 604 for 7 dec (Ricky Ponting 221, Michael Clarke 210, Brad Haddin 42*; Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 194) & 167 for 5 dec (Ricky Ponting 60*, Michael Clarke 37; R Ashwin 2 for 73) lead India 272 all-out (Virat Kohli 116, Wriddhiman Saha 35, Gautam Gambhir 34; Peter Siddle 5 for 43, Ben Hilfenhaus 3 for 62) & 92 for 2 (Virender Sehwag 62, Rahul Dravid 19*; Ryan Harris 1 for 11) by 408 runs.

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