Saturday, February 23, 2013

Michael Clarke scored an unbeaten century

Michael Clarke scored an unbeaten century to guide Australia to stumps on day one of the first Test against India in Chennai on 316 for 7.
His 103 came from 169 balls and although he was given excellent support from debutant Moises Henriques, through Ravichandra Ashwin's five-wicket haul, India kept themselves very much in the game.
Henriques came to the crease with the score reading 153 for five, showing his mettle with 68 after David Warner had proved his fitness by hitting 59.
Ravichandran Ashwin finished the day with six for 88 and Ravindra Jadeja was the only other player to take a wicket.
On a bone-dry surface, Michael Clarke had no hesitation in batting first after calling correctly at the toss. India brought in Murali Vijay as Virender Sehwag’s opening partner and Harbhajan Singh played ahead of Pragyan Ojha and Ravindra Jadeja retained his bowling all-rounder spot.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was handed his Test debut as MS Dhoni opted to go in with five bowlers. Meanwhile, Australia went in with the same team they had named earlier in the week, with Moises Henriques making his debut.
Cowan and David Warner made a quick start as the new-ball bowlers failed to make an impact on a wicket that seemed unresponsive to their bowling. Spin was introduced as early as the fifth over, after 22 minutes of play, while the 50-run partnership came up in 10 overs. Their stand was finally broken when Ashwin came on to bowl in his first Test at his home ground.
It was the 15th over and Cowan (29), having already hit a six, went for another big hit and was stumped. Phil Hughes, coming in at number three, was an early casualty, playing on a wide delivery again from Ashwin. Australia were 72 for two but Warner and Shane Watson, at number four, steadied the ship until lunch.
David Warner was dropped off Sehwag and then Dhoni missed a stumping as well, and he took advantage to score a half-century, scoring 59 runs off 93 balls. He hit six fours and put up 54 runs for the third wicket with Watson, as Australia finished the first session at 126 for two.
Post-lunch, Ravichandran Ashwin triggered a collapse in the middle order and it seemed that India would wrap up the innings within the hour. Warner and Watson (28) were both adjudged leg before in successive overs, and later Matthew Wade (12) was out similarly, leaving the visitors reeling at 153 for five, but his dismissal brought Clarke and debutant Henriques to the crease, and they resisted the bowling until late in the day.
Michael Clarke was more elegant, having experienced Test match pressure in these conditions and he played the spinners well, using his feet to counter them. He hit 11 fours and one six in all, in what was going to be a pivotal innings for his side in this game.

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