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  • Perth Test: Australia sense victory after Virat Kohli- Tim Paine verbal war

    first_imgWords were exchanged. The two captains collided. The umpire intervened. Tim Paine wondered aloud if Murali Vijay could like Virat Kohli as a bloke. Mohammed Shami recorded his best ever bowling figures in Test cricket. But at the end of a tense fourth day, Australia were well on top and in sight of their first Test victory since the ball-tampering scandal broke out in Cape Town earlier in the year.Chasing 287, India were reduced to 112 for 5 with Hanuma Vihari (24 not out) and Rishabh Pant (9 not out) at the crease.India were off to a horror start to their chase. Mitchell Starc bowled a terrific inswinger to dismiss KL Rahul for a duck in the fourth ball of the innings. Cheteshwar Pujara, the hero of India’s Adelaide triumph, fell to Josh Hazlewood for 4 in the fourth over.In walked Virat Kohli, fresh from his first innings 123 and his verbal war with Paine. He was under pressure, no doubt, to walk the talk. He had warned Paine against messing up (lest Australia go down 0-2) – now the focus was on him. If he did not score another big one, the match would be well out of India’s reach.As it happened, Kohli started confidently and he had for company Murali Vijay, who has had a disappointing series so far. But the duo appeared to make some progress. They withstood heavy-duty spell from Australia’s quicks and the nerves were probably beginning to settle in the Indian dressing-room before disaster struck – Nathan Lyon brought Kohli forward and got him to edge – Usman Khawaja took a good, low catch and the Australians were thrilled.advertisementIn his next over, Lyon snared Vijay as India slid to 55 for 4.Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari are two technically correct batsmen. It was a good sight to see them in the middle together against a top quality attack – Rahane even upper cut Starc for a six. There were sweetly timed boundaries and the pair decided to show some intent.India moved from 55 for 5 to 98 for 4 and their hopes were beginning to grow. However, Rahane’s square drive off Hazlewood went straight to Travis Head, who took a great catch.Pant and Vihari saw India through to stumps without any further damage but they face an uphill task on Tuesday if they harbour any hopes of still winning this Test.That’s stumps! Another high-quality day of Test cricket and the Aussies are five wickets away from victory: https://t.co/mzWOwn19la #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/iTWZc04CwScricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 17, 2018Earlier on Monday, Australia’s overnight batsmen – Khawaja and Tim Paine – were disciplined this morning and helped the hosts move to 190 for 4 by lunch. Slowly but steadily, the pair was batting India out of the Test match and it looked like India were going to chase a massive target.However, Mohammed Shami came out all guns blazing in the second session and picked up four wickets. Jasprit Bumrah, who had bowled beautifully Sunday afternoon without much success, picked up the other two as Australia collapsed from 192 for four to 198 for 8 in less than five overs. Only a last-wicket stand of 36 between Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood allowed Australia to set India a daunting fourth innings target.last_img read more