x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

India beat Aussies for first time since 2001

Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh spun India to a resounding 172-run victory in the fourth and final Test against Australia to win the series 2-0.

The Indian cricketers Virender Sehwag, second right, and Harbhajan Singh, right, congratulate Amit Mishra, second left, for dismissing the Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
The Indian cricketers Virender Sehwag, second right, and Harbhajan Singh, right, congratulate Amit Mishra, second left, for dismissing the Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

NAGPUR // Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh spun India to a resounding 172-run victory in the fourth and final Test today as the hosts recorded their first series victory over Australia in seven years. The leg-spinner Mishra and the off-spinner Harbhajan shared seven wickets to bowl out top-ranked Australia for 209 in their second innings with almost a session to spare on the last day to win the four-match series 2-0.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma provided the early breakthrough when he dismissed first-innings centurion Simon Katich (16) and Michael Clarke (22) after the tourists were set an imposing target of 382 for a series-squaring victory. "It's been a fair result, to tell you the truth," Ponting said. "From the start of the second test in Mohali, we've been chasing our tails and India deserve the 2-0 result. "It would have been an unbelievable run-chase if we could have got there today - with wearing wickets and good spinners, and fast bowlers doing their job, after lunch we were out of the game. We weren't good enough here or in Mohali." India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised his side's efforts in defeating the Australians. "We had motivation, we had plans, the best part was we executed them very well," Dhoni said. "The fast bowlers did the trick for us in the series. They bowled their hearts out and were backed by the spinners and part-time bowlers." India last beat Australia at home in 2001 and drew one of three subsequent series the teams have played. "The victory is very important for the team and everybody. Everybody was looking up to this series," Dhoni said. With this result, India move into second place in the International Cricket Council Test rankings and only 13 points separate them from Australia. This was Australia's first series defeat since the 2005 Ashes tour of England.

*Agencies