Sat, Jan 14, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Australia crush India’s cricketers

AP, PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Opener David Warner smashed the fourth-fastest Test century off 69 balls to put Australia in control of the third Test after India were shot out for 161 on the opening day yesterday at the WACA ground.

David Warner was on 104 and Ed Cowan on 40, with Australia 149 without loss at stumps in 23 overs.

Warner, the firebrand opener, sent India’s all-seam attack on a leatherhunt with three sixes and 13 boundaries in his 80-ball innings by stumps.

The left-hander was felled by an Umesh Yadav bouncer on 80, hit on the left side of the face. He required attention and a change of helmet, but immediately responded by hitting 4, 4, 2, 4, -, -, 6 in the next seven balls to race to the century.

He brought up his second Test ton in imperious style, lofting debutant Vinay Kumar into the crowd over long-on.

Warner ran down the ground, and leaped and punched the air in celebration as the 17,956 spectators rose to their feet to applaud the swashbuckling innings. He scored his first 50 off 36 balls and reduced his fellow opener Cowan to a mere spectator at the other end.

Warner’s knock ranks behind only West Indian Viv Richard’s (56 balls), and Australians Adam Gilchrist (57) and Jack Gregory (67).

Warner’s other century was an unbeaten 123 in the second innings in Australia’s seven-run defeat against New Zealand at the Bellerive Oval last month.

While the India batsmen labored on the pacy and bouncy pitch, beaten repeatedly by Australia’s all-seam and swing attack, the Australia openers showed scant respect to India’s battery in cracking 19 fours and three sixes between them.

India never looked comfortable from the moment the dangerous Virendar Sehwag was dismissed for 0 in the fourth over of the day after being put into bat by Australia skipper Michael Clarke.

Only a 68-run, fifth-wicket stand saved face for the tourists, when topscorer Virat Kohli (44) and V.V.S. Laxman (31) batted stubbornly, resuming on 73-4 at lunch. It took the pair nearly two hours, with Laxman taking 50 balls to reach double figures, and before long he too became a victim in the slip cordon.

It was Peter Siddle (3-42) who broke India’s resistance removing the pair in the space of six balls and sparked the collapse in which the last six wickets tumbled for a paltry 30 runs.

Ben Hilfenhaus led the bowling with 4-43, while left-arm swing bowler Mitchell Starc chipped in with 2-39.

Sachin Tendulkar will have to wait another innings to score his 100th ton as he was trapped LBW by swing bowler Ryan Harris for 15. Tendulkar hit three boundaries in his short stay and was dismissed by the pace of the pitch as he tried to hit across the line.

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