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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 06:10 GMT
Australia thrash India at the MCG
First Test, Melbourne: Australia 343 & 351-7dec beat India 196 & 161 by 337 runs

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson celebrates taking the last Indian wicket

Australia bowled out India for just 161 on the fourth day to win the first Test in Melbourne by a convincing 337 runs.

Set 499 to win and beginning Saturday's play on 6-0, India lost their first wicket on 26 and never recovered.

Mitchell Johnson claimed three late wickets as the tourists stumbled their way to defeat on a wicket which had deteriorated considerably.

VVS Laxman (42) and Sourav Ganguly (40) were the best of a disappointing set of scores from the Indians.

Paceman Brett Lee (2-43) and left-arm spinner Brad Hogg (2-51) were just as impressive as left-arm seamer Johnson as Australia romped to their 15th consecutive Test win.

On a day of excessive heat at the MCG, India's last five wickets fell for just 17 runs, including three in four balls without the addition of a run.

I was very lucky... I can sit here and tell you about my bad decisions as well, but I won't

Andrew Symonds

Johnson claimed his first wicket of the match when he had Mahendra Dhoni caught behind by Adam Gilchrist for 11 and Anil Kumble soon followed suit in similar style.

Harbhajan Singh was run out for a duck without facing a ball on the first delivery of the next over, and Ganguly departed two balls later - caught at silly mid-off off Hogg.

Number 11 RP Singh lasted 20 deliveries before chopping Johnson onto his stumps, and the match was won.

Ricky Ponting's side are just two wins away from surpassing the Steve Waugh-led Australian team that won 16 Tests on the bounce from 1999 to 2001.

Ponting said: "We played excellent cricket all the way through.

It's a really pleasing win because the wicket we played on was probably more suited to a subcontinental style of play

Ricky Ponting

"To walk off the field at the end of day four with a 337-run win against a very good Indian team is obviously very satisfying.

"It's a really pleasing win because the wicket we played on was probably more suited to a subcontinental style of play, and we've adapted and done it really well."

India captain Kumble, whose team were on top for a period on day one, said: "It hurts, not just as an individual but as team that we haven't put up a good show.

"I can tell you we will address that and try to put up a better show in Sydney.

"It's mainly a mental thing and that is something we will address so we are hungry for success when we go to Sydney".

In truth, the damage had been done on the second day when India made just 196 in their first innings, but the margin of victory was wider than many would have predicted before the start.

606: DEBATE
medium-pacer

Lee had given Australia a good start to day four by removing opener Wasim Jaffer in the eighth over of the morning with a delivery outside off-stump which the right-hander fenced at, and edged to Gilchrist.

Rahul Dravid - as strokeless as he had been in the first innings - managed to last two and a half hours in all, but provided just 16 runs to the cause.

He was finally removed when Andrew Symonds cut a ball into his pads in front of off-stump and India were 56-2 at lunch.

Australia took three more wickets in the second session.

Sachin Tendulkar lasted just 21 balls before edging an attempted drive off Lee to Gilchrist, Laxman mistimed a forcing shot off Stuart Clark to cover, and Yuvraj Singh was lbw to a quick one from Hogg after an all-too-brief innings of five.

Gilchrist ended the day with 399 Test dimissals, setting a new Australia record, with only South Africa's current wicket-keper Mark Boucher in front of him.

The second Test begins in Sydney from 2 January, with two further matches to come.


Australia's Andrew Symonds:
"I was very lucky. I was out when I was 30, given not out.

"That's cricket though. I can sit here and tell you about my bad decisions as well, but I won't.

"There's ways to improve [decision-making], but let's not push and prod it too much. It's a good game, it's a great game.

"Players make mistakes every day. Umpires make mistakes, too. It's how you handle them and how you keep going after those mistakes are made."

SEE ALSO
Australia v India photos
24 Dec 07 |  Cricket
Australia set India huge target
28 Dec 07 |  Cricket
Clark and Lee make India suffer
27 Dec 07 |  Cricket
Kumble helps India check Aussies
26 Dec 07 |  Cricket
India in Australia 2007-08
21 Apr 07 |  Cricket


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