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Warner hits another ton

David Warner of Australia breaks into his trademark leaping celebration after reaching his hundred against India during the 1st Test in Adelaide on Friday.
 ADELAIDE, Dec 12 (PTI): Opener David Warner extended his purple patch with the bat by cracking his second century of the match as the first cricket Test against India headed for an exciting finish with Australia gaining an overall lead of 363 runs here today.

 At stumps on the fourth day at Adelaide Oval, Australia were 290 for five with Steven Smith and Brad Haddin batting on 52 and 14 respectively. The hosts may declare the innings early tomorrow leaving India with the task of batting out the fifth day to save the match

In the morning session, spinner Nathan Lyon took his sixth five-wicket haul in Test cricket as India collapsed to be bowled out for 444 runs in their first innings after resuming at 369 for five.

The 28-year-old Warner then followed up his first innings hundred with another ton in the second, giving Australia command of proceedings. Warner made 102 off 166 balls and his knock was studded with 11 fours and a six.

Warner, who had crossed the 1000-run landmark in the calendar year before lunch, consolidated Australia’s position by adding 102 runs for the second wicket with Shane Watson (33), who was bowled by Mohammed Shami.

However, the wicket that India desperately wanted to have in their bag came when Warner was bowled while trying to reverse sweep debutant leg-spinner Karn Sharma.

The big scalp though did not peg Australia back as the hosts continued to score quick runs with another first-innings centurion Smith and Mitchell Marsh (40) dominating the Indian attack.

Marsh smashed four boundaries and three sixes during his entertaining innings that came off just 26 balls. Smith struck five fours in his unbeaten knock.

In scoring his century, Warner became only the fifth batsman after Clyde Walcott (1955), Sunil Gavaskar (1978), Aravinda de Silva (1997) and Ricky Ponting (2006) to score twin Test hundreds in the same calendar year on two occasions.

Indian bowlers however produced a good display after the tea-break. They bowled with control unseen before in this match so far and made sure that Australia weren’t in a position to declare this evening itself. Much credit for that goes to Shami (1-42) and Aaron (1-43) for using the reversing ball to good effect, after the two bowlers had been nearly kept away from the attack in the post-lunch session.

Shami, who didn’t bowl at all in the second session of the day, struck immediately after tea to remove Watson.

Warner, batting on 70 then, got a second life after he gloved the ball down to the keeper off Aaron in the 40th over but the umpire failed to notice it. Seven overs later, he was dropped on 89 by Murali Vijay (0-27) in the slips off Shami.

There were a few heated moments exchanged between the two sets of players in this aftermath. But things settled down and finally, Warner got to his ton in the 54th over, after facing 154 balls, hitting 11 fours as well as one six.

He was finally dismissed by Karn (2-95). In between, Clarke (7) had been dismissed cheaply off Aaron.

Smith and Marsh then came together and bludgeoned the Indian bowling. The latter was severe on the leg-spinner, smacking 24 runs off the 64th over, as Australia galloped past the 250-run mark and brought up the 300-lead as well.

The two batsmen put on 53 runs for the fifth wicket in 5.3 overs, setting up their side for an early declaration on the final day and push for a result.


Australia 1st innings: 517 for 7 declared

India 1st innings: (369 for 5 overnight): Vijay c Haddin b Johnson 53, Dhawan b Harris 25, Pujara b Lyon 73, Kohli c Harris b Johnson 115, Rahane c Watson b Lyon 62, Sharma c and b Lyon 43, Saha c Watson b Lyon 25, Karn b Siddle 4, Shami c Watson b Siddle 34, Ishant c Smith b Lyon 0, Aaron not out 3. Extras: (LB-4, W-1, NB-2) 7. Total: 444 all out in 116.4 overs. Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-111, 3-192, 4-293, 5-367, 6-399, 7-406, 8-422, 9-422. Bowling: Johnson 22-6-102-2, Harris 21-6-55-1, Lyon 36-4-134-5, Siddle 18.4-2-88-2, Marsh 11-4-29-0, Watson 5-1-13-0, Smith 3-0-19-0.

Australia 2nd innings: Rogers c Rohit b Karn 21, Warner b Karn 102, Watson b Shami 33, Clarke c Saha b Aaron 7, Smith batting 52, Marsh c Vijay b Rohit 40, Haddin batting 14. Extras: (B-1, LB-6, W-5, NB-9) 21. Total: 290 for 5 in 69 overs. Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-140, 3-168, 4-213, 5-266. Bowling: Shami 11-2-42-1, Ishant 14-3-41-0, Karn 16-2-95-2, Vijay 6-0-27-0, Rohit 12-2-35-1, Aaron 10-0-43-1.

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