India vs Australia: Hosts Take 1-0 Series Lead with Comfortable Eight-Wicket Victory in First Test
By Deepak Vikraman | February 26, 2013 4:49 PM EST
Cheteshwar Pujara hit the winning run, albeit in rather lucky circumstances with Mathew Wade dropping a catch and the deflection allowing India to scamper away for a run, after Australia set India a target of 50 to chase in the second innings. India now lead the four-match series 1-0, with the next Test scheduled to begin in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Australia began with their overnight score of 232 for nine, as Moises Henriques and Nathan Lyon looked to continue their dogged partnership to frustrate the home side further.
The last-wicket pair hung around for nine overs, before No. 11 Lyon finally succumbed, inside edging a Ravindra Jadeja delivery onto his pad with Murali Vijay completing the catch at short leg as Australia folded for 241.
Henriques, as impressive a debut as one can hope for, finished on 81 not out, and with the New South Welshman sharing the same initials as the recently-retired Michael Hussey, he looks like he could yet fill the hole left by Mr. Cricket.
Needing 50 for a win, Murali Vijay failed yet again, falling to the impressive James Pattinson for six, before Virender Sehwag followed him to the pavilion for 19, after edging one to slip off Nathan Lyon.
The crowd gave a huge cheer to Sehwag's wicket as that meant the arrival of a certain Sachin Tendulkar to the crease and the little big man did not disappoint, smashing Lyon for two sixes from his first two deliveries, before Pujara completed the formalities in the next over.
The win is as good as they come for an Indian side a little short on confidence, particularly in the five-day format, and the team will be hoping for a similar surface to the one in Chennai, in Hyderabad as well.
The only worry for India, though, will be the form of their openers, who were again dismissed cheaply, with absolutely no pressure to weigh them down. A 1-0 series lead following a comprehensive victory, however, is as good as the hosts could have hoped for going into the series.
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