Ashwin helps India take first innings lead on Day 2


Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked four for 55 while pacer Umesh Yadav scalped three for 40 as India took handy 53-run first innings to lead against Australia, who were bowled out for 191 on the second day of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. India ended the second day’s play at nine for the loss of Prithvi Shaw’s wicket to take the overall lead to 62.

India had made 244 in their first innings.

Ashwin had got the prized wicket of Steve Smith for just one in the second session as India wrested the initiative early. The off-break bowler followed it up with the wickets of Travis Head, Cameron Green, and Nathan Lyon.

Aussie skipper Tim Paine scored an unbeaten 73 to take the fight to the Indian camp while Marnus Labuschagne made 47. The hosts were reduced to 111 for seven at one point in time.

The Indian pacers then off to a great start and bowled great line and length, not allowing Australian openers — Matthew Wade and Joe Burns — to get off the mark for the first 28 balls.

Wade (8) was the first one to get out as he was trapped in front by Bumrah. The left-handed batsman took the review but was adjudged out courtesy umpire’s call.

Burns, who has been in terrible form in recent times, became Bumrah’s second scalp as he too got out leg-before wicket at his individual score of 8.

Starting the second session at 35 for the loss of two wickets, Australia lost Smith at the team score of 45. Smith, who played 29 balls for his lone run, was caught at slip by Ajinkya Rahane off Ashwin.

Head was the next wicket to fall as he was caught and bowled by Ashwin for 7.

Green (11) then tried to steady the ship alongside Labuschane but the debutant was undone by a moment of brilliance from India skipper Virat Kohli who dived to his right take an acrobatic catch at mid-wicket off Ashwin.

Paine then joined forces with Labuschagne to steady the ship but at the end of the second session, Australia was still placed in a precarious situation at 92 for 5, still trailing by 152 runs.

Australia’s situation could have been much worse had the Indian fielders not dropped Marnus Labuschagne twice — once by Bumrah in the morning session and then by Shaw in the second session.

A double strike by Yadav — of Labuschagne and Pat Cummins — at the score of 111 made it look like the Aussies would concede a big lead.

However, Paine’s rearguard action with the tail helped the Australians narrow the lead.

Earlier, resuming the day at 233/6, the Indian lower order couldn’t contribute much as the visitors got bowled out at 244, adding just 11 runs to the overnight score.

Mitchell Starc was the pick of the Australian bowlers as he returned with figures of 4 for 53. Pat Cummins scalped three wickets, conceding 48 runs, while Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon picked up one wicket each.

Brief scores: India 244 and 9/1 vs Australia 191 (T Paine 73 not out, M Labuschagne 47, R Ashwin 4/55, U Yadav 3/40)


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