Sat, Dec 15, 2018 - Page 16 News List

India limit Australia in Optus Stadium’s first Test

AFP, PERTH, Australia

Australia’s top-order batsmen yesterday squandered a number of promising starts to cede an early advantage on the first day of the second Test against India in Perth.

A century opening partnership after captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat appeared to lay the foundation for a sizable total on a challenging pitch at Test cricket’s newest venue, but openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch were among a number of top-order players who could not build the big individual score Australia craved.

At stumps on a scorching day, the hosts were 277-6, with Tim Paine on 16 and Pat Cummins on 11. A crowd of 20,746 braved the heat to be part of history on the first day of Test cricket at the new Optus Stadium.

Although Australia might have been lamenting a missed opportunity, India, who dropped two catches, ended the day with concerns of their own.

Paceman Ishant Sharma briefly left the field late in the day with what appeared to be a side issue and their batsmen would have been a bit alarmed by some of the variable bounce on the opening day.

It was a solid day at the crease for Australia, but could have been much better had any of their four batsmen who made more than 40 gone on to post a substantial innings.

Second-gamer Harris led the way with 70, Finch made 50, Travis Head hit 58 before throwing his wicket away and local favorite Shaun Marsh made 45.

Despite the pitch having a distinctly green tinge that appealed to India’s four-pronged pace attack, Harris and Finch backed their captain’s call at the toss until Finch’s luck ran out and he was trapped in front by paceman Jasprit Bumrah (1-41).

India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs as they seek their first series victory in Australia.

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