SPORT

India Secure Victory After Australia Fall Victim To Treacherous Pitch

We've seen more playable sandpits.

07/03/2017 4:58 PM AEDT | Updated 07/03/2017 8:41 PM AEDT
Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
Warner wasted a review too, on a ball that was clearly hitting the stumps.

India have beaten Australia in the second Test in Bengaluru by 75 runs after a bowling masterclass by Ravi Ashwin tore through the Aussie batting order.

Australia's target of 188 in their second innings always looked to be an uphill battle and victory got a little bit steeper after the wickets of both Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade fell.

That left the Aussies at 6 for 101 and 87 runs away from going 2-0 up in the series.

With his selection and performance in India already heavily under scrutiny, Mitchell Marsh only lasted five overs after his Skipper, Steve Smith departed. He was caught out off of a Ravi Ashwin-bowled ball that sent him back to the sheds with just 13 runs.

And Ashwin didn't slow down. Aussie wicket-keeper Wade followed suit after Marsh, being caught out for a duck two overs later.

Australia went into the final session of play for day four at 6 for 102. That was until Mitchell Starc also fell two overs later on 1 run, leaving the Aussies at 7 for 103.

It only took O'Keefe to fall for 2, Handscomb for 24 and Lyon for 2 within two overs at the hands of Jadeja and Ashwin to seal the match and victory for the home side.

That left the Aussies bowled all out for 112 with their final six wickets coming for just 11 runs. The series has now been tied-up at one win each for both sides.

EARLIER...

Steve Smith is gone, out LBW for 28 to an absolute shocker of a delivery that barely bounced after it had touched the wicket, as Australia edges towards its ever more distant target of 188.

A few overs earlier, Shaun Marsh was the third Aussie batsman to go, out LBW to Yadav for 9 with the score on 67. But there was a twist to the dismissal. Replays showed the ball missing the stumps, but Australia elected not to review, having wasted one of its two referrals on Dave Warner, who was plumb LBW but who nonetheless challenged the umpire's verdict.

Australia got off to a sound enough start in its second innings until Matt Renshaw feathered a sharply rising ball from Ishant Sharma to the keeper, and was out for five.

Australia lost its second wicket with 42 runs on the board when Dave Warner -- who looked like he was getting on top of the bowling, and even hit a confident six off his nemesis, Ravi Ashwin -- fell LBW to Ashwin for 17. It was the ninth time the spinner has got the opener in Tests. Which is a lot. And it soon became apparent that his wicket was a double blow, given the Marsh no-review fiasco.

At the start of day four, you felt the match slipping away from Australia after a fruitless first few overs. Then took the second new ball and bam... the match was alive again.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood each took some of they prettiest wickets you'll ever see. Both bowlers sent down deliveries that scythed their way through the Indian batsmen's defences, sending stumps flying.

But Hazlewood was the headliner, taking six wickets in his first meaningful contribution to a series in which he'd previously taken just the one wicket.

India was all out for 274 inside the first session. Their lead is 188, which ordinarily would be pretty hard to defend. But this is no ordinary Test series played on no ordinary pitches.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
You could lose your car keys in those cracks.

On a pitch surface as cracked as a desert clay pan, whose bounce is as unreliable as a Sydney train timetable, any score anywhere near 200 was always going to be a heck of a chase.

We'll keep you updated with the score as the day's play progresses this Tuesday. Good luck getting longer this evening, fingernails.

The scorecard is here.

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