Dhawan steals the show from Starc

Mohali, March 16 (IANS) Debutant Shikhar Dhawan has literally blown away Australia's hopes of making any comeback in the series with his record unbeaten century that broke many a record as India raced to 283 for no loss in the first innings in the third cricket Test after third day's play at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) here Saturday.

Dhawan, who replaced his statemate Virender Sehwag, remained unbeaten on 185, which was not only the fastest by any cricketer and the highest by an Indian. India now trail Australia by 125 runs.

Dhawan hit 33 fours and two sixes in his 168-ball unbeaten knock. He is now just 15 short of becoming the first to score a double century on debut by an Indian.

As Dhawan went about smashing the Australia, Murali Vijay was quietly progressing towards his second consecutive Test hundred and was not out on 83. The 283-run unbeaten first wicket stand between Dhawan and Vijay was the highest by an Indian pair against Australia.

Australia were bowled out for 408 shortly before lunch after Mitchell Starc top scored with a fine 99 and Steve Smith struck 92.

Dhawan made the most of generosity shown by the Australian team since he was techincally run out even before the first ball was bowled.

As Starc ran down for the first delivery, the ball slipped from his grip and the hit the stumps and Dhawan was short of crease. The Australians, however, preferred to have a laugh instead of appealing.

Vijay and Dhawan safely saw off the only over as the hosts took lunch at 3/0 in their first innings. After the break, Dhawan was unstoppable.

Dhawan, 27, set the tone with two crisply timed fours off Peter Siddle in the fourth over. Dhawan got to his maiden half-century with a four off Nathan Lyon through the mid-on in the 18th over. Vijay got into the act by smashing the off-spinner for two sixes in the last three balls as 17 runs came off the over.

Dhawan was severe on Moises Henriques, Lyon and left-arm spinner Xavier Dhoerty, who leaked 18 runs in 23rd over. Dhawan completed his century in just 85 balls with almost a suicidal single and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Earlier, resuming at 273 for seven, the morning session was perhaps the best for Australia as they scored 135 runs losing the last three wickets.

Overnight batsmen, Smith and Starc added 97 runs for the eight wicket and also achieved their best scores in Test cricket.

Smith, who made a comeback in Test side after a little more than two years, impressed with the responsibilities he shouldered with the tailenders. It was an aggressive innings by Smith and he hit 10 fours and a six in his 185-ball knock before falling eight short of what would have been his maiden Test ton.

Smith became Pragyan Ojha (2/98) second victim after he was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Meanwhile, Starc rose above his potential of being tailender and batted with purpose. The fast bowler smacked 14 fours during his 144-ball stay.

He came close to becoming the first Australian No.9 to get to three figures, but unfortunately it was not to be. Ray Lindwall was the last Australian No.9 to have scored a century, against England at the MCG in 1947.

Starc and Lyon (9 not out) added valuable 41 runs for the ninth wicket that took Australia to the threshold of 400-run mark.

Having added 79 to his personal score in the morning session, Starc needed just one run to reach the milestone. But he slashed hard at Ishant Sharma (3-77) and it flew to Dhoni, who snapped up a good catch that also left Australia stranded at 399/9.

Xavier Doherty (5) became Ravichandran Ashwin's (2-97) second victim after he was trapped in front.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

Bangalore elect to field against Mumbai at Dubai. More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »