Ponting and Clarke score double centuries; India in strife

Clarke and Ponting's 386-run partnership helped Australia declare their first innings at 604 for 7, and at stumps India was 61-2 with Gautam Gambhir on 30 and Sachin Tendulkar 12 not out.

Scorecard | Action in images | Day 2 Snippets | Day 1 Round-up

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting's record partnership had deflated India and then Australia's bowlers got into the act too as the visitors lost two wickets on the second day of the fourth and final Test at the Adelaide Oval today. Peter Siddle celebrates after catching Virender Sehwag off his own bowling.

Clarke and Ponting's 386-run partnership helped Australia declare their first innings at 604 for 7, and at stumps India was 61-2 with Gautam Gambhir on 30 and Sachin Tendulkar 12 not out.  Virender Sehwag (18) and Rahul Dravid (1) were the two Indian batsmen to lose their wickets to Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus respectively.

Sehwag was given a life in the second over of India's innings when Ed Cowan failed to hold on to a catch at midwicket off Hilfenhaus' bowling. Sehwag (18), who was on 5 at the time, didn't make the most of his fortune, and was soon after brilliantly caught by Siddle off his own bowling. Dravid was then clean bowled for the sixth time in the series, though he can consider himself a tad unfortunate. Dravid was slightly late in moving forward to a length delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus and the ball hit him near his elbow guard before crashing on to the stumps. The Australian pacers stuck to a tight line and length and Nathan Lyon, who used to be a groundsman at the ground, did his bit for the day as well in the five overs he bowled. Lyon and the rest of the Australia's bowlers though could be tested if the Indian line-up puts up a fight.


Record Partnership
Umesh Yadav got through Clarke's defence in the first over of the post-lunch session to finally give India a breakthrough after 94.4 overs. Clarke (210) and Ponting, who scored the sixth double century of his Test career soon after, added 386 runs for the fourth wicket. The pair set a new record for the highest partnership at the Adelaide Oval as they passed the 341 runs set by South Africa's Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock in 1964.

Clarke and Ponting also established a new partnership record for Tests between Australia and India as they eclipsed the 376-run stand that Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman added for the fifth wicket at the Eden Gardens in March 2001. They, however, fell only two runs short of the highest Australian fourth wicket partnership set by Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford against England in Leeds in 1934.

Clarke, who scored 329 not out in the second Test at Sydney has now racked up 589 runs in the series at an average of 147.25, while Ponting has 484 runs at 96.80.


Flying start
Ponting and Clarke both scored double centuries on the second day of the Adelaide Test.Resuming on the overnight score of 335 for 3, Ponting and Clarke started off aggressively on another hot day in Adelaide hitting boundaries galore and also running well between the wickets even as India's bowlers struggled to string together a decent over. The bounce though was uneven with some deliveries not bouncing as much as expected, and this will cause concern in the Indian camp.

Ponting and Clarke were both particularly harsh on anything pitched short and also used their feet well against India's lone spinner R Ashwin. The pair were concentration personified during their mammoth partnership and scored 134 runs in the first session on the second day. 

India's bowlers didn't bowl too many wicket-taking deliveries in the first session, but the few they did failed to break the Ponting and Clarke partnership. Ponting had a near shave off Ishant Sharma in the second over of the day when the pacer got the former Australia captain to get an outside edge, but it flew between slips and gully enroute to the boundary. Later in the session, Ishant put down a regulation caught and bowled chance offered by Ponting. Ishant has been ruing that luck hasn't gone his way in the series, but when he had the chance, he failed to grab it.

Clarke just about managed to fend off a brute of a delivery from Yadav and the outside edge just flew over the gully; and a couple of overs later, the Australia skipper almost chopped an Ashwin delivery back on to his stumps. These close shaves apart, Ponting and Clarke were in control for most part of their time in the middle and both got to their 150s with well-timed boundaries. Clarke got to his 200 just before lunch with a cracking boundary through extra cover off Ashwin.

The fight back
India put up a slightly improved bowling performance in the second session as they took four wickets with Australia adding 100 runs. Yadav clean bowled Clarke in the first of the post-lunch session, but by then the Australian skipper had 210 off 275 balls with 26 boundaries and a massive six. Ponting though got to his double centur yshortly after as he swatted a short delivery from Yadav to the boundary.

India have been sloppy in the field and grassed a fair number of catches in the series. So, when VVS Laxman failed to latch on to a catch offered by Ponting when he was on 215, it only reiterated that shoddy fielding and butter fingers ought to be one of the many points for India to mull over and improve on after the series.

But, Gambhir earned some points for India's fielding courtesy his fast hands while fielding at silly point. Mike Hussey (25) had played a delivery from Ashwin past silly point.

Gambhir though stretched out his right hand and lobbed the ball back to Saha who whipped off the bails before Hussey could regain his ground.

Laxman's dropped catch didn't prove too costly for India though as Ponting - 221 off 404 balls (516 minutes, 21x4) - was well caught by Tendulkar at deep midwicket off Zaheer's bowling. As a result, Ponting narrowly missed out on surpassing his personal best of 242 at the Adelaide Oval.

Ashwin then dismissed Siddle cheaply but Brad Haddin (42*) and Ryan Harris (35 not out) added 71 runs in 17 overs for the eighth wicket as Australia declared their first innings 30 minutes into the post-tea session.

Ashwin (3-194) was the most successful of India's bowlers, while Zaheer took two wickets and Yadav, who conceded 136 runs in 26 overs, chipped in with Clarke's wicket.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. 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 »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… 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 »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 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 »

'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 »

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 »

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 »