2nd Test match: India beat Australia by 75 runs to level series

Ravichandran Ashwin (L) celebrates with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (R) after taking a catch off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja to dismiss Australian batsman Peter Handscomb on the fourth day of the Bengaluru Test match. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 07, 2017, 09.36 AM (IST)

Chasing 188 runs to win, India bowlers struck at regular intervals as India beat Australia by 75 runs on the fourth day to win the second Test match at Bengaluru. 

India struck almost immediately after tea with Ravichandran Ashwin grabbing the vital wicket of Mitchell Starc to reduce Australia to 103 for seven as India took a stranglehold over the second Test on a sunny day at Bengaluru. Ashwin took the last wicket to fall that of Nathan Lyon, caught & bowled to clinch the match and level the series. Ashwin picked up match figures of 6 for 74 to put the Test match beyond Australia's reach on the decisive fourth day at Bengaluru.

KL Rahul was declared the Man of the Match for his gallant 90 and 51 in the two innings on a difficult Bengaluru pitch.

"We knew if we got anything over 150, we had a chance. After conceding the lead, Pujara and Rahane had a champion partnership. Two best Test batsmen we have got, so much character and technique and heart," Indian captain Virat Kohli said at the post-match award show.  


India beat Australia by 75 runs in the second Test making the 4 match series level. (WION)


Earlier, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets in a session to help reduce Australia to 101 for six at tea on a tense fourth day, with the touring side still needing 87 more runs after tea to win the second Test but it was not to be as Ashwin had other ideas.

Peter Handscomb was unbeaten on 19 with Matthew Wade's dismissal for a duck sending the players in for the tea break.


Ravichandran Ashwin (L) celebrates with Ravindra Jadeja as Indian captain Virat Kohli exults after the dismissal of Australian batsman Shaun Marsh during the fourth day of the second Test match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. (AFP)


The Chinnaswamy pitch helped the spinners with the ball keeping low, allowing the Indian slow bowlers to extract sharp turn, Australia were set a tricky target of 188 runs in the morning to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

After dismissing the dangerous opening batsman David Warner for 17 in his first spell, Ashwin returned before the interval to send back Mitchell Marsh and Wade.

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav got the big wicket of Australia captain Steve Smith, who was out leg before to a grubber of a ball that stayed so low it almost hit his boot.

Smith was out for 28 and also subjected to some angry words from Indian fielders while he appeared to look towards his dressing room for advice before opting against a review of the decision.

Umesh also dismissed Shaun Marsh leg before for nine, when he padded a delivery outside the off stump. The batsman would have been saved if he had reviewed the verdict with replays showing the ball was missing the wicket.

Josh Hazlewood earlier picked up career-best figures of 6-67 to rip through India's batting on the fourth morning and restrict the hosts to 274 in their second innings.

Smith started with spin from both ends to try and break the fifth-wicket partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane but when the new ball was available after 80 overs, he handed it to his pacemen.

Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc was erratic in his first two overs with it, but had soon made a key breakthrough by dismissing Rahane leg before for 52 with a full inswinging delivery.

The batsman was given not out but Smith successfully overturned the decision on review to end a partnership of 118 between Pujara and Rahane.

Starc rattled the stumps of Karun Nair next ball for a duck and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha only just kept out the hat-trick delivery.

The 26-year-old Hazlewood, who had taken three wickets on Monday, took up the gauntlet in the following over and struck a major blow to India's hopes by dismissing Pujara for 92, caught at gully.

Ashwin was also out in the same over for four to the right-arm paceman with the ball keeping low and going under his bat to disturb the stumps. Umesh became Hazlewood's sixth victim as India lost five wickets for just 20 runs in 19 deliveries.

(WION with Reuters inputs)