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  Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 10:44 GMT
India triumph in tense finish
Harbhajan and Dighe celebrate victory
Harbhajan and Dighe celebrate victory
Third Test: India (501 & 155-8) beat Australia (391 & 264) by two wickets

Click here for scorecard

India held their nerve on a tense final day in Chennai to win the decisive Test against Australia by two wickets and clinch a remarkable series victory.

On another dramatic day Australia hauled themselves back into contention as India, chasing a modest target of 155, slipped to 135 for seven, but the home side hung on to claim a memorable success.

It completed an outstanding recovery by India after they were beaten by ten wickets in the first Test. They won the second after following on and fought back to take this Test too.

It is Australia's first series defeat since they were beaten in Sri Lanka in 1999.

Laxman hit a crucial half century in Chennai
Laxman made another vital contribution

They began an absorbing day by dismissing Australia for 264 in their second innings. Harbhajan Singh finished with career best figures of eight for 84 and 15 in the match, India's second best return in Test history to set up the victory.

India set out positively in pursuit of their target despite the loss of an early wicket.

Glenn McGrath gave Australia the sought after early breakthrough when Siv Sundar Das top edged an attempted pull back to the bowler.

India continued to score briskly as Sadagopan Ramesh and Vangipurappu Laxman appeared to be hurrying them home with a 58 run partnership.

But with the score on 76, the pair hesitated over a single and Ricky Ponting swooped from cover to run out Ramesh for 25.

Australia recover

Tendulkar and the prolific Laxman took the score to 101, with Tendulkar hitting Shane Warne out of the attack, before Jason Gillespie began an admirable spell of fast bowling that edged Australia back into contention.

Tendulkar (17) was undone by a short ball and caught by Mark Waugh at second slip. Sourav Ganguly did not look comfortable against Gillespie. He edged one boundary before the next ball again found his edge for Mark Waugh to claim another catch.

Rahul Dravid did not last long either before he fell to the off spin of Colin Miller, driving straight to Steve Waugh at extra cover.

That left India 122 for five - 33 short of victory - in an increasingly tense contest. Nevertheless Laxman continued to bat freely and by tea India were ten runs closer.

But immediately after the interval Australia bounced back as Miller took two wickets in four balls, including the key one of Laxman for 66.

Steve Waugh returns to the pavilion after falling to Harbhajan Singh
Steve Waugh added only four runs

India's leading scorer in the series pulled a short ball to mid-wicket where Mark Waugh took a brilliant catch. Sairaj Bahutule soon followed as he edged to Shane Warne at slip.

It left the home side still 20 short, but Samir Dighe hit Miller for consecutive boundaries and then farmed the strike to see India home despite a furious final burst from McGrath.

The Australian paceman found Zaheer Khan's edge to give Mark Waugh his fourth catch of the innings.

Stumbling block

Earlier the tourists, who began the day on 241-7, added only 23 more runs before they were all out.

Harbhajan claimed all the three remaining wickets at a cost of two runs.

He removed the main stumbling block, captain Steve Waugh, in the day's eighth over when the batsman edged a catch to Das at forward short-leg.

Waugh added just four to his overnight score of 43.

Harbhajan then had Gillespie snapped up at backward short-leg by Dravid and trapped Miller lbw to polish off the innings.

Harsha Bhogle reports for BBC Sport
"It was a fantastic series"
Australia coach John Buchanan
"It's amazing to see the whole series come down to the last day"
Australia wicket-keeper Ian Healy
"It takes a world record performance to beat Australia"
Australia captain Steve Waugh
"These are three of the best Test matches you'd ever want to see"
All the reports from the Test match


Day Five

Day Four

Day Three

Day Two

Day One

Where and when

Justin Langer

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21 Mar 01 | India v Australia
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