Australia live another day after Henriques fifty
Moises Henriques became the first Australian since Bruce Laird in 1979/80 to score two fifties on Test debut, hitting 75* on Day 4 of the first Test at Chennai to help Australia avoid an innings defeat.
MS Dhoni’s belligerent knock came to an end on 224 (265b, 34x4, 6x6) in the morning, caught behind off James Pattinson (5/96) to give the young Australian his fiver. He had added 103 out of the 140 runs in the 9th wicket partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s best against Australia. The Indian innings was wrapped up soon after that for 572, with a hefty 192 run lead over Australia.
R Ashwin gave India their first break with Shane Watson’s dismissal just before Lunch. Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes were sent back in quick succession post lunch, the ball jumping off the rough threateningly at batsmen on occasion. Harbhajan Singh then joined the action, bowling much better than he did in the first innings and was rewarded with the wickets of David Warner and Matthew Wade.
Moises Henriques walked in to once again partner Michael Clarke. At 121/5, Australia were still 71 runs away from making India bat again, a task that looked even tougher when Ashwin spun an offbreak almost square to catch Clarke plumb LBW and reduce Australia to 131/6. With that he had his second 10 wicket haul in Tests. Jadeja then removed Peter Siddle as Australia tumbled to 136/7.
Henriques had begun nervously but grew in confidence with time. Pattinson and Mitchell Starc proved able partners, taking Australia towards the Indian total with 24 and 14 run partnerships for the 8th and 9th wickets respectively. India still seemed to have a shot at an innings win when Ashwin had Starc caught at mid on, taking his second fiver of the game. But Nathan Lyon and Henriques built a significant partnership from there, adding an unbeaten 57 run partnership for the 10th wicket.
India’s bowlers couldn’t find a way past the two and subsequently dipped in intensity as the session wore on. Henriques had attacked regularly, cutting, pulling and latching on to any loose deliveries, smartly rotating the strike with Lyon. Dhoni introduced Ishant in the 88th over of the day, the first over of pace in the innings but the new ball too was no help.
Henriques brought up his fifty off 95b shortly after Australia had gained the lead. By the end of day’s play he was on 75* off 124b with six fours and two sixes to his name. Australia finished on 232/9 with a lead of 40 runs, Henriques and Lyon having frustrated the home side for 18 overs by close.
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