Australia clinch first Test

AFP, ADELAIDE

20 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

A devastated India crashed to their lowest ever score of 36 on Saturday as Australia ran riot to win the opening Test in Adelaide by eight wickets after Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins produced a bowling masterclass.

India started the third day of the pink-ball Test on nine for one and with a 62-run lead, looking to build a competitive second innings total for the hosts to chase.

But their hopes were left in tatters by a wicket with bounce and deviation as Hazlewood took 5-8, including his 200th Test wicket, and Cummins 4-21. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine claimed five catches as the bowlers found the edge.

It was an incredible Indian collapse, with no batsman reaching double figures during a capitulation that lasted less than 22 overs, in contrast to their battling first innings' 244.

That included skipper Virat Kohli, who fell for four and now heads home for the birth of his first child, leaving his stunned team to face three more Tests, starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day, without him. Ajinkya Rahane will assume the captaincy.

India's previous Test low was 42 against England at Lord's in 1974. Their 36 was the joint fourth lowest of all time, with New Zealand's 26 facing England in 1955 at Auckland the worst ever.

The carnage left Australia, who scored 191 in the first innings, needing 90 to win, with out-of-form Joe Burns hitting a confidence-building 51 not out, including a six to win the match.

Matthew Wade made 33 and Marnus Labuschagne six with Steve Smith not out one.


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