Australia thump India to win second Test

 

Australia secured a 2-0 series lead over India by completing an emphatic innings-and-68-run victory midway through the final session on day four of the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The tourists dominated the morning action and looked set to force the match into the fifth day before man of the match Michael Clarke claimed the vital scalp of Sachin Tendulkar to spark a dramatic collapse just after lunch.

It rounded off a memorable Test for the Australia skipper, who scored a triple century to underpin his side's dominant performance.

Tendulkar's dismissal for 80 signalled the beginning of the end for the visitors, who lost four wickets for 15 runs in quick time to be staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat.

Zaheer Khan (35) and Ravi Ashwin (62) rallied with a 56-run partnership, while Ishant Sharma (11) offered some resistance before becoming Nathan Lyon's first victim of the match when he was trapped lbw.

Ravi Ashwin kept up the fight before holing out to Lyon off Ben Hilfenhaus (five for 106) for an impressive half-century as India was bowled out for 400.

It was a superb performance from the rejuvenated Hilfenhaus, who finished with eight wickets for the match to be the pick of an in-form Australia attack.

Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Lyon also finished amongst the wickets in the second innings.

Tendulkar was on track to post his 100th international century before he prodded at a well-flighted ball from the Australia captain and was caught at first slip by Mike Hussey.

Brad Haddin was unable to take the sharp chance but the ball deflected off the gloveman's pads and straight to Hussey, who accepted the rebound to spark wild celebrations from the home side.

India suffered another massive blow moments later when VVS Laxman was clean bowled by Hilfenhaus for 66 off the first delivery with the second new ball.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was next to depart for just two when he spooned a return catch to Hilfenhaus, and when Pattinson trapped Virat Kohli lbw for nine victory was all but assured for the hosts.

Earlier, India lost opener Gautam Gambhir (83) in the first session before Tendulkar and Laxman steadied things with a timely 103-run stand.

Gambhir looked set to post a well-deserved century before he half drove at a ball from Siddle and caught a thick edge for David Warner to take a comfortable catch at point.

Australia will reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy if they can win or draw either of the two remaining Tests in Perth and Adelaide.

PA

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