Ashwin, Clarke shine in opening Test



AGENCIES

Published — Saturday 23 February 2013

Last update 23 February 2013 5:37 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

CHENNAI: Michael Clarke resumed his love affair with India’s bowling attack by scoring his 23rd Test century but India wrested control of the opening day of the series thanks to R Ashwin’s six-wicket haul on Friday. Ashwin’s fifth and sixth wickets were separated by a 151-run stand between Clarke (103*) and the debutant Moises Henriques (68) that threatened to give Australia the day’s honors, but two wickets just before stumps allowed India to leave the field with a spring in their step.
Having opted to bat on a bone-dry Chennai surface, Clarke had looked on as Ashwin spun out the first five wickets, but found an able accomplice in Henriques. Clarke ensured he cashed in on a life on 39 to stay not out with his fourth century in the last three months, but a total of 316 for 7 meant India had pulled matters back.
Australia had lost two wickets in the space of eight runs when Clarke walked out, and the skipper was at the non-striker’s end when Ashwin removed Shane Watson (28) and David Warner (58) in successive overs after lunch. When Matthew Wade (12) became Ashwin’s fifth wicket with the score at 153, matters looked grave for Australia but up stepped Henriques with a confident first innings in Test cricket, giving Clarke the confidence to be himself.
Clarke and Henriques put a premium on taking singles and were adept at knocking the ball into the gaps. Harbhajan Singh, in his 100th Test, was decidedly lackluster while Ravindra Jadeja’s left-arm spin was also milked with ease. Clarke — who on 12 crossed 7,000 Test runs — and Henriques ran well and assuredly kept runs ticking over following a drop in scoring with the wickets of Watson, Warner and Wade after lunch.
Clarke, however, was afforded a huge slice of luck on 39 by umpire Kumar Dharmasena, who failed to spot an inside edge when the batsman thrust his pad at Ashwin. Clarke brought up his 50 with a lovely six over mid-on off Ashwin, and never looked back. As always, his footwork to spin was deft and this positivity gave Henriques the confidence to play his own game. Henriques was firm off front foot and back, and cut with precision. He slowed after crossing 40 with a pull for four off four — he played 29 balls for his next eight runs — but reached the fifty-mark with a quick single, much to his captain’s pleasure.
A steady tempo was maintained to turn the heat back on India, and apart from Ashwin no bowler left a mark. Ishant Sharma, the spearhead of the attack, struggled to locate a length and was not helped by very defensive open fields from M.S. Dhoni.
The debutant seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was given a brief spell with the new ball (4-1-15-0) and then called back for the 66th over. Thereafter he found a bit of reverse swing but never looked threatening, mostly because he bowled too wide of off stump. Harbhajan finished with figures of 19-1-71-0 and looks like being stuck on 100 Test matches.

His poor outing made India’s decision to drop their No. 1 Test bowler, Pragyan Ojha, a very puzzling one.
The run rate picked up in the final session as Clarke and Henriques played their shots, but a moment of overconfidence did for Henriques on 68. Just two balls into another Ashwin spell, the 90th over of the day, Henriques missed a sweep and was given lbw. Moments later, Jadeja spun one past Mitchell Starc to hit off stump, giving India some lift late in the day. Clarke reached three figures off the penultimate ball of the day with a thumped four down the ground, but will rue the lack of support from his batting partners.
Earlier, Australia were given a positive start from Ed Cowan and Warner. The pair put on 64 before Cowan, having just hit only his second six in 14 Tests, attempted a big shot off Ashwin and was stumped for 29. Soon after, Ashwin had his second when Phillip Hughes edged an attempted cut onto his stumps. Watson and Warner combined for a 54-run stand that took Australia to 126 for 2 at lunch, but Ashwin’s swift strikes undid the hard work.
With the fourth ball of the afternoon session, Ashwin skidded a short ball into Watson’s pads and won an lbw appeal. Ten deliveries later, Warner went back to a full delivery and was hit in front of middle and leg. Wade’s jittery innings lasted 35 balls before Ashwin rapped his pads in front of the stumps to claim his sixth five-wicket haul in 13 Tests. Suddenly there were visions of an Australian capitulation to spin, but Clarke and Henriques revived the innings with an excellent partnership.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The $22-billion Riyadh Metro project is going on according to the plan despite the fact that many global projects are faltering.“There are many stalled projects all over the world and not in the Kingdom alone, but the metro project in the Sau...
JEDDAH: Four members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) were stabbed by a youth who was allegedly trying to blackmail a girl in Jeddah. The incident happened on Tuesday night and the four officers, who sus...
RIYADH: A recent report released by the Ministry of Labor revealed that the number of violations registered on the ministry’s electronic program “Together for Monitoring” in the months of December 2015 and January 2016 amounted to 484, of which 157 w...
RIYADH: Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih visited the medical complex in Thuwal, near Jeddah, on Tuesday. The facility was set up by Saudi Aramco, whose chairman is the health minister himself.According to the minister, the complex provides primary hea...
JEDDAH: A number of Shoura Council members have voiced objections to some imams who express their personal opinions during Friday sermons.The members asked the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to supervise the sermons to make sure they were written by spe...
MADINAH: Street vendors near the Prophet’s Mosque pose a risk to the country’s reputation and economy besides blocking the way of service cars, Red Crescent and Civil Defense vehicles, an expert has said.Ninety-eight percent of these street merchants...
RIYADH: Appropriate action has been taken against the Haia members who were involved in beating up a girl opposite the Nakheel shopping mall here recently, but the girl was also at fault, a Haia official has clarified.“A probe has revealed that the g...
I am from the east of France but moved to Saudi Arabia from Paris in 1990. I worked for a princess as a French language tutor. I was young and single. I thought it was very exotic and mysterious. I lived in a palace. I left Saudi Arabia in 1992 and c...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) held a symposium on Kashmir and the obligation of Muslim world toward Kashmiris.It was presided by Ali Al-Ghamdi, a former Saudi diplomat. Other guests and speakers at the event were Shahid Nayeem, pres...
DAMMAM: A total of 627 kidney transplant surgeries were performed in the Kingdom last year, bringing the number of kidney transplants, performed since the beginning of the organ donation program, to 9,000 surgeries, said Dr. Faisal Shaheen, director...
ABHA: Saudi women spend more on cosmetics compared to women in the West, the Arab world and even in the Gulf, economic studies show.Recent statistics issued by the Saudi Customs suggest the amount of imported cosmetics in the past year exceeded SR2.3...
RIYADH: A study is under way to provide health insurance to Umrah pilgrims and domestic workers and certain articles of the health regulations needs to be amended, an official has said.According to local media, the statement was made by Mohammed bin...
JEDDAH: The government last year helped over 2,000 children overcome circumstances that forced them to beg or work illegally. The number of children who got help to overcome was 2,039 last year, of which the proportion of the Saudi children was 16 pe...
RIYADH: The number of visitors to the United Kingdom from Saudi Arabia has been steadily increasing from 89,000 in 2009 to 144,000 in 2014.This was revealed at a presentation made to mark the launch of “Visit Britain” program in Riyadh on Wednesday....
NAJRAN: Three members of the Saudi National Guard died in Rabuah, Najran, on Wednesday.National Guard spokesman Maj. Mohammed Omari identified them as Lt. Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Shehri, Lt. Faisal bin Talal Al-Toub and Lt. Saud bin Khaled Al-Rukhayye...

Stay Connected

Facebook