Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar saved the day for India but that didn’t prevent Australia from sealing the Border-Gavaksar trophy (2-0) on the final day of the fourth Test at Sydney.
Chasing a target of 349 runs on the fifth and the final day, India lost KL Rahul, the centurion of the first innings, quite early. Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma then played sensibly and put on a 56-run partnership before Rohit lost his wicket to Watson. He scored 39. Vijay then brought up his 4th half century of the series and shared a partnership of 74 runs for the third wicket with Virat Kohli.
After being 178/2 at one stage, India lost Vijay, Kohli, Raina, Saha and Ashwin in a span of 39 runs, causing worry in the dressing room. But Rahane and Bhuvneshwar hung in for the last 12 overs and saved the match for India.
Leading by 97 runs, Australia scored 251 in their second innings inside 40 overs declared overnight on day four with a lead of 348 runs. Joe Burns lead Australia’s charge with a quick-fire knock of 66. Chris Rogers and Steven Smith also scored half-centuries at a brisk pace. Rogers scored his sixth consecutive half-century of the series.
Earlier, after the winning the toss, skipper Smith and David Warner scored hundreds and helped Australia post a mammoth total of 572/7d in their first innings. This total ensured that India were not going to win this match but the fight that KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and R Ashwin showed during their innings of 110, 147 and 50 respectively was absolutely brilliant and just because of it, India played 162 overs and posted 475 runs in their first innings.
Australia 1st innings: 572/7d (Smith 117, Warner 101, Shami 5-112)
India 1st innings: 475 (Kohli 147, KL Rahul 110, Starc 3-106)
Australia 2nd innings: 251/6 (Smith 71, Burns 66)
India 2nd innings (target: 349 runs): 252/7 (Vijay 80, Starc 2-36, Hazlewood 2-31)
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