Mon, Dec 31, 2018 - Page 10 News List

India thrash Australia; NZ seal series

INEVITABLE:Resuming 141 runs short, Australia’s best hope was for rain to wash out the final day, but they collapsed as India’s pacemen attacked with cold-blooded confidence

Reuters, MELBOURNE

Fans celebrate after India’s victory over Australia on the final day of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

India yesterday captured Australia’s last two wickets after a rain-delayed start to day five of the third Test to complete an emphatic 137-run win and take a 2-1 series lead into the Sydney finale.

India were forced to wait nearly two-and-a-half hours for play to begin due to rain at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but when the weather cleared, their bowlers wrapped up Australia’s innings for 261 in 22 minutes.

In his second over, seamer Jasprit Bumrah had Cummins edge to Cheteshwar Pujara, who took a sharp, low catch in the slips to remove the bowler for a personal high score of 63.

Paceman Ishant Sharma sealed the result when he had Nathan Lyon edge behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant for 7 when attempting to slog the ball.

The wicket triggered bear hugs and backslaps among the Indian players as traveling fans in the sparse crowd roared with joy.

Virat Kohli’s men head to the Sydney Cricket Ground with a genuine belief that they can become the first Indian team to win a series in Australia.

“We’re not going to stop here. This has only given us more confidence to go out in Sydney and play even more positive cricket,” Kohli said at the trophy presentation.

Resuming on 258-8, 141 runs short of victory, Australia’s best hope was for rain to wash out the final day, but the morning showers merely delayed the inevitable.

They had been set a daunting victory target of 399 shortly before lunch on day four, and crumbled after India’s pacemen attacked the stumps with cold-blooded assurance.

The pride of Cummins and Lyon allowed Australia to limp into day five, but the match had slipped away from the hosts on the morning of day three, the rampaging Bumrah taking 6-33 to rout Paine’s side for 151 and carve out a first-innings lead of 292.

Barring Cummins’ heroics — the fast bowler claiming nine wickets for the match and career-best figures of 6-27 in India’s second innings — there were few positives for Tim Paine’s Australia.

NEW ZEALAND VS SRI LANKA

Reuters, WELLINGTON

Trent Boult and Neil Wagner quickly wrapped up Sri Lanka’s second innings yesterday as New Zealand clinched the series 1-0 with a dominant 423-run victory in the second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Boult trapped Dushmantha Chameera in front after only 10 minutes of play on the fifth day, and while the batsman asked for a review, third umpire Rod Tucker confirmed the onfield decision two minutes later to bring the match to an end.

With the first match in Wellington ending in a damp draw, yesterday’s victory saw the hosts win a fourth successive Test series for the first time.

“A fantastic achievement,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “It’s exciting.”

Boult wasted little time yesterday in the overcast conditions as he bowled Suranga Lakmal for 18 on the third ball, before Wagner had Dilruwan Perera caught for 22 on the eighth.

Boult then wrapped up the innings at 236-9 with Mathews unable to bat.

“Disappointed with the way we batted in the first innings, but I’m happy with the way we played in the second innings as we fought hard as a team,” Sri Lanka captain Dinseh Chandimal said.

“We are a young team, but if we can show the same character as Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews, then we should be able to compete,” he added.

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