India seal first Test win Down Under in a decade

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India clinched their first Test victory on Australian soil in a decade on Monday after surviving a nail-biting finale to beat the hosts by 31 runs in Adelaide.

Australia resumed the final day needing another 219 for victory with four wickets down, but lost their last two specialist batsmen before lunch, shifting the odds heavily in India’s favour.

Shaun Marsh and Travis Head needed to take the hosts close but both fell in the first session for 60 and 14 respectively.

Australia captain Tim Paine then struck 41 but he also fell just as he the Aussies were getting starting to believe.

By lunch Australia had fought to 186 for six, still needing a further 137 runs for victory, with Paine not out 40 and Pat Cummins on five.

But in the second over after they resumed Paine top-edged a pull shot from Bumrah and Pant easily took a catch.

Cummins, who survived two big reviews within four balls, with the technology both times going in his favour, showed gritty application with Mitchell Starc in a 41-run eighth wicket stand.

And when the target dropped below 100, the crowd dared to dream before Starc fell to Shami for 28. It brought Nathan Lyon to the crease and he got the pulses racing with a quick 38 to set up a tense finale, before Josh Hazlewood departed to end the match.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant pouched a world record-equalling 11 catches for the match as India, after setting an improbable target of 323, finally dismissed Australia to win by 31 runs on day five at Adelaide Oval.

It was a huge breakthrough for captain Virat Kohli’s men, who went 1-0 up in the four-match series after becoming the first Indian team to win the opening match of a Test series Down Under.

Pant took the plaudits after matching the record of 11 catches in a Test held by England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

India’s last Test success in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and the previous one in Adelaide was 2003. They have now won just six times in Australia in more than 70 years.

Bumrah, Shami and Ashwin took three wickets apiece and India take momentum into the second Test that starts in Perth on Friday.

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