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India v Australia 4th Test
Nagpur, 6-10 November 2008
606 debate | Mobile scorecards

FOURTH TEST, Nagpur (day five):
India 441 & 295 bt Australia 355 & 209 all out by 172 runs


By Tom Fordyce

e-mail (with 'For Tom Fordyce' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606 after 0900 GMT. (Not all contributions can be used)

0839: WICKET - Johnson lbw Harbhajan 11, Aus 209 all out, INDIA WIN MATCH BY 172 RUNS AND SERIES 2-0

Wicket falls
Wonder if Dhoni's reconsidering his decision to give Gangools the captaincy - it's all gone quiet in the last 24 minutes. Fordyce you clown - even as those words leave my fingers, Johnson pads up and is sent packing by Umpire Dar. Shocking decision - the ball was missing off-stump by about a foot - but India don't care. They've thumped Australia, and not even Ricky Ponting could complain about this result.

The Aussie team come onto the outfield and congratulate their opponents warmly. Ganguly is being chaired around the pitch by his team-mates - he could get used to that - and the home celebrations begin in earnest.

That's the first time Australia have lost a series by more than 1-0 since 1988-9. Has an era drawn to a close?

From Peter Ward via email: "Standing on the delayed Woking to Waterloo train (the tracks were 'slippery') with flu-ridden people sniffing all around me. Thank heavens for the Indian cricket team keeping me sane and smiling."

0834: Aus 205-9
Flamboyant flick square from Johnson to bring up the 200, and the follows it up with a smash over long-on for a one-bounce four. The inevitable is delayed.

0831: Aus 199-9
Mishra again, with White refusing to lie down.

0827: Aus 199-9
Ganguly's making the most of his spell at the wheel - there's fielding adjustments every ball, each greeted with a loud cheer from the stands. Mitchell Johnson leaves extravagantly outside off. If you can hear wild cheering, it's coming from the TMS inbox. I haven't heard celebrations in there like this since 2005.

0822: Aus 197-9
It's all fun and games out there for India now - Dhoni's handed over the captaincy to Ganguly to mark the occasion of his last Test. White steps away to drill Mishra through cover for four, but the burgeoning crowd doesn't care. Who said Nagpur wasn't a party town?

0817: WICKET - Lee c Vijay b Harbhajan 0, Aus 191-9

Out for a duck
Here comes Brett Lee, a smile on his face. Funnily enough, it's not there three balls later when he's bagged at short square leg. This is a collapse of English proportions, and there are few bigger insults than that.

0813: WICKET - Krejza st Dhoni b Mishra 4, Aus 190-8

Wicket falls
Nothing doughty about that one - Jay Krey steams down the track, almost dislocates his shoulder with the heave and is stumped by half the length of the pitch. Mishra's done him like a Northumberland kipper.

0810: Aus 189-7
Krejza thrusts his front leg forward doughtily and almost bat-pads a chance to the slavering silly mid-on. Half an hour till tea, and the over-rate's still only 12 an over. Dhoni could find himself benched against England if this carries on.

0804: Aus 185-7
Nice meaty sweep from White, and Mishra out on the square leg fence didn't seem to pick that up. Bhaji then doozras one past the plunging outside edge. Nasty.

0759: Aus 181-7
Jason Krejza probably didn't imagine his first Test going quite this way - 12 wickets in the match, and then expected to come in mid-afternoon on the final day and thrash a rapid ton to save his team's cheeks. He gets started with a flip away through midwicket for a brace.

From Geordiemack via email: "Watching events unfolding down here in Lobito, Angola and looking forward to a few tinnies with a couple of Australian colleagues after work tonight. if they turn up of course."

0754: WICKET - Watson c Dhoni b Harbhajan 9, Aus 178-7

Wicket falls
Bhaji aims into the rough outside the right-handers' off stump, Watson slashes a cut and the skinny edge is heard all around. Dhoni leaps, Watson hangs his head, and the end is surely nigh. What a session this has been for India, after that nervy start - four wickets that could seal the series.

0750: Aus 177-6
Yup - here he is again, and White flicks to long leg and the sprinting Zaheer for two. There's a dabber square for another one as White puffs out his cheeks and squints back down the track.

0746: Aus 174-6
Swipes and jousts from Watson and White for threes and twos apiece off Sehwag. Mishra looks like he's swapping ends.

0740: Aus 168-6
Watson tries a meaty sweep from outside off, gets a top edge and watches aghast as the ball drops just short of the in-rushing deep square leg. Drinks, and the Aussies need some patented Genius Juice.

0737: Aus 167-6
Nice shot from White, stepping back to Mishra and timing him away through midwicket for four. Dhoni will take that, and the crowd is building as the Aussies teeter.

From Len in Bangkok via email: "Sitting at my desk in Bangkok - maybe watching via the text feed the Fall of the Aussie Cricket Empire. Loving every typed word."

0732: Aus 162-6
Cameron White the next man into the sights. Two men in close catching on the leg side as Harbhajan whirls in. 220 needed to win, four wickets in hand - it'll take miracles from here. On the Aussie balcony, coach Tim Nielsen is chewing off Ponting's ear. Punter stares straight ahead as the words pour in and then strides off without saying a word. Downhearted times.

From Jill in the Outback via text: "Further to 0650 - the ad I like at the moment is the scrolling one across the bottom of the screen for a telephone company telling people to watch it on their mobile. It says 'Watch Australia disappoint 1.13 billion Indians'. I bet they aren't that disappointed."

0727: WICKET - Haddin c Tendulkar b Mishra 4, Aus 161-6

Wicket falls
And there goes another! Haddin, who's never looked comfy, trudges down the track and loops a mis-hit straight down Sachin's throat at wide mid-on. That's Tendulkar's 100th Test catch. Why wasn't Mishra brought on earlier?

0724: Aus 160-5
Haddin uses his feet against Harbhajan to pick to two to deep square leg. 222 more needed to win; 49 runs and two wickets in the session's nine overs so far.

0720: Aus 156-5
Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, both fresh to the middle, have men all round the bat as Mishra skips in. Dicey times these for the tourists - they were close to wrestling control away from India just after lunch, but now the pressure is heavy on their shoulders again.

0714: WICKET - Hayden lbw Harbhajan 77, Aus 154-5

Wicket falls
Bhaji looks like he might explode - Hayden steps back to try to clout to leg, misses and is trapped slap on the back pad below the knee-roll. Bowden's got no doubt about that one - the crooked finger goes up, and Australia are reeling. Is that the moment the series was sealed?

From Lynn in Perth via email: "Re 0650 - how about 'Deflating the Egos' by sticking pins in the oversized Aussie players' heads?"

Cruel, Lynn, cruel. Although amusing.

0707: WICKET - Hussey c Dravid b Mishra 19, Aus 150-4

Wicket falls
Dhoni turns to Amit Mishra. The field is now as scattered as a dropped packet of Rice Crispies, and after a lbw appeal gets the shake of the head, Mishra gets one to jump up and balloon off Hussey's gloves to a screaming slip. Super delivery, and that's a hammer blow for the Aussie hopes.

0702: Aus 148-3
Now then - Hayden's going after Sehwag, and he's reaching him too - a brace of hard-run singles and then a whopping, smeared six way over wide long-on. India's field couldn't get much more defensive, and the initiative is suddenly starting to go Australia's way for the first time in the innings.

0657: Aus 138-3
Hayden goes again, slogging Bhaji over midwicket for four and then sweeping cleanly for another. There's a long wait as Dhoni adjusts the field, which won't help the Tavaresque over-rate, and another scampered single.

0653: Aus 127-3
Spicy times out there. Hussey plays another successful reverser for two but then top-edges just over Dhoni's head. This pair are looking to step on the gas, but the devil in the pitch is doing its best to put the handbrake on.

0650: Aus 123-3
Big turn from Harbhajan out of the rough again, and for some reason it's called a wide despite pitching only a foot outside off. More reverse-sweepage from the Aussie pair.

From Vincent in Melbourne via email: "During the last Ashes tour in Australia, Ford Australia ran an ad campaign on TV and the web called 'Bash a Pom'. One could log onto their website and play at being an Australian batsman smacking poor old Flinters round the pitch. I wonder if anyone can think of a game Ford UK could offer during the next Ashes series?"

0645: Aus 119-3

That's 50
Not sure about these tactics from Dhoni and India as the afternoon session gets underway. Sehwag's on for a twirl, and there are three men in the deep on the leg side. One ball dies, shoots between Dhoni's legs and skips over the grounded helmet before racing away for four, and then one tossed up is clouted out of the rough and into the one gap on the on side for four by Hayden - and that's his 50. Dropped twice on the way there, but he's now the key man for the desperate tourists.


0558: Aus 111-3
Nice little paddle from Hussey as Bhaji drifts down leg. Massive turn out of the rough next as the ball trampolines away, and that's lunch. India edge the session, but once again the over-rate has been shocking - just 21.3 completed in two hours. Time for beverages all round - catch you shortly...

0554: Aus 106-3
Lovely shot from Hussey, punching a short one from Zaheer wide of mid-on for his second four. The run-rate's still rapid-ish, around the 4.8 an over mark, but with just over two sessions left, 276 are still needed.

0551: Aus 100-3
That's good menace from Harbhajan - a cunning drifter that almost yorks the belligerent Hayden. First maiden of the innings.

0547: Aus 100-3
Zaheer to replace the tiring Sharma. He goes wide of Hayden's off peg and there are singles all over the shop as the Indian fielding grows ragged. A full toss on leg is punched away for three, and that's the Aussie ton up.

0539: Aus 93-3
Dear oh dear - another let-off for Hayden. This time he top-edges his reverse sweep, but Dravid at slip was already on his heels and palms away a catch he should really have held. 289 more for the win, and that's a steep, slippery mountain.

0534: Aus 88-3
Short from Sharma, and Hussey cashes that cheque with a pull round the corner for his first boundary. That's his lot from the over, though, as Sharma nails his solid line - 2-31 from nine this morning from the Samson-haired swinger.

0529: Aus 84-3
Hussey the new man, and Bhaji tweaks away with oohs and grrrrs. Fantastic takes from Dhoni as the ball jumps from one delivery and dies on another, but he's got to be thinking about the snicker from Haydos that he failed to hold on to earlier.

From Mike in Perth via email: "I read in the Aussie press this morning that Ponting has been quoted as saying 'over rates do my head in.' If we're clever, surely England could gain an even greater psychological advantage during the next Ashes series by installing Gary Pratt as the match referee."

Fiendish, Mike in Perth, fiendish.

0522: WICKET - Clarke c Dhoni b Sharma Aus 82-3

Wicket falls
Streaky from Clarke, though, this time - an uppish drive that squeaks through the cover gap, a late panicked jab that almost plays on - and then the luck runs out. He pushes feebly at a full, fast one from Sharma, thins an edge and Dhoni bags the easiest of snags. Barely moved his feet, Clarke, and he's looked as weary as Roy Jones in round eight at the Gardens all day. Advantage India again...

0517: Aus 78-2
That's better from Clarke, dabbing behind square for three before Hayden plays his own best shot of the day - a perfect reverse sweep off Bhaj for four. 304 more needed, with the run-rate around the five-an-over mark.

0512: Aus 71-2
Sharma's as on the money as Lizzie 2, and Clarke can only get a thick outside edge on a heave. Looking ghostly pale, the NSW man.

0506: Aus 69-2
Here comes Bhaji to Haydos, and a rank long-hopper gets the treatment through cover. And then - has he got him? - no, Dhoni's spilled it! Hayden cuts at one which spits away from him, gets a clear edge but it's in and out of the stumper's mitts before the scream can leave the bowler's lips.

Re Charles in Toronto at 0437 - he assures me that there's an 'e' on the blond. Apologies for the pedantry, Charles - harsh at so early/late an hour.

0500: Aus 65-2
Three dabbed-down singles, and that'll be drinks. Haydos is on 26, Clarke 14; 317 more runs required. Big, big ask.

0454: Aus 62-2
Clarke aims a weary, feet-anchored drive at Zaheer and edges streakily past the stretching right hand of Laxman at second slip. Et repetez-vous - the same again two balls later. Bit of away-dip from the bowler. Anxious times.

0448: Aus 51-2
Flick to long leg from Hayden for two, and then a scampered single that Katich makes by a couple of feet. Clarke's looking a touch tottery out there - he's got the thousand-yard stare of a man who's made too many midnight dashes.

From Charlie in Sydney via email: "It's a long way back to the toilet in the changing room if Clarke got a spot of Delhi belly and that's one particular dash that he can't get Katich to run for him."

0442: Aus 47-2
A lot of weight on the protein-shaked shoulders of Hayden now, and he slashes a cut at one outside off and gets a skinny edge along the ground between Dhoni and first slip having driven straight for three a few balls earlier. Clarke, apparently, is feeling "generally unwell", which is why Katich is out with him doing the leg-work.

0437: Aus 37-2
New-man Clarke comes in with a runner, and he should have departed with a runner second ball - Sharma zings one into his front padder, there's a huge appeal - and Billy Bowden shakes his head! Replays show that ball would have mashed the middle of leg peg. Big, big let-off for the teetering champs.

From Charles via email: "Good morning Tom! I'm sitting at the University of Toronto Library working on a political science paper with a very attractive blond next to me quite keen on seeing India take ten Aussie wickets to hinder Australian preparation for the Ashes."

Blond or blonde, Charles?

0430: WICKET - Ponting run out 8, Aus 37-2

Wicket falls
Whoosh - Punter Ponting bustles in, and Zaheer nearly sends him back second ball - angling one across him and taking the edge, only for the ball to fall just short of Dravid at second slip. But what's this - Ponting, having just clipped a sweet four through midwicket, then sets off on a suicidal single to Mishra at mid on and is run out by a country mile. Calamity for Australia, joy unconfined for India...

0423: WICKET Katich c Dhoni b Sharma 16, Aus 29-1

Wicket falls
Sloggy swipe from Katich to a fullish one, there's a steepling top edge and the 'keeper dashes in to bag a swirler. Daft shot, really - that was a "100 needed from the last 15" effort - and the Aussie task gets harder still.

0420: Aus 28-0
Much better from Zaheer - just short of a length and with real spit and devil. Katich is beaten twice in a row, and the bounce is getting variable too.

0413: Aus 27-0
Sharma goes wide of off and is slashed high over cover for Hayden, but it's a top-edger and he only gets an uno. Katich then steps across and pulls one-day fashion over square leg for four. Bellicose start.

0409: Aus 19-0
Zaheer from the other end, and after Haydos pushes one to leg for a single Katich is trumped outside his off stump by one that jumps and straightens. He pushes a single straight and Hayden does the same. Stands in Nagpur almost devoid of punters.

0404: Aus 16-0
Sharma to complete his over, and the runs are flowing already - a drive for one from Hayden, and the same from Katich for two.

0340 GMT So here we go - the final day of an enthralling series, and the Aussies need one of their great days to avoid losing their first Test series since the Ashes in 2005. 369 runs needed for the win and series draw, 10 wickets in hand, and a pitch that's getting cheekier by the second...

see also
Australia in India 2008
13 Oct 08 |  Cricket

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