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Ind strike late after Warner show

Ind strike late after Warner show
Indian bowlers took four wickets in the final session of the opening day of the first Test but Australian opener David Warner’s belligerent knock of 145 put the home team in a slightly better position with a total of 354 for six at the Adelaide Oval here Tuesday.

Left-handed Warner got good support from skipper Michael Clarke (60) and Steve Smith (unbeaten 72) to help Australia snatch the initiative on the first day of the emotionally charged Test as India was made to toil without much result in the first two sessions of play.

For the visitors, pacers Mohammed Shami and Varun Aaron picked up two wickets apiece but their economy rates took a beating against a destructive Warner, who grabbed all eyeballs with some scintillating strokeplay.

Experienced medium fast bowler Ishant Sharma only managed the solitary wicket of Chris Rogers, but looked stand-in skipper Virat Kohli’s best bet to inflict damage on the hosts. India surprisingly fielded debutant Karn Sharma instead of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The leggie didn’t get much help from the turf and Clarke and Warner punished him, dispatching several weak deliveries to the fence. But the Meerut youngster accounted for big-hitting Warner, who danced down the track and was caught at deep mid-wicket by Ishant.

After losing Chris Rogers (9) and Shane Watson (14), Australia rode on the 118-run Warner-Clarke third wicket partnership before the latter retired hurt due to back spasms, which have been bothering him for the last couple of years.

However, Warner continued his aggression on his way to his 10th century as the Indian bowlers failed to control him. The 28-year-old cut, pulled, drove and sliced to collect 17 boundaries which helped him to grab his fifth Test century in 2014. Later, Mitchell Marsh (41) and Smith stitched a useful 87-run partnership to provide comfort to the Australians.

However, Marsh was caught at gully by Kohli off a Varun Aaron delivery and the next two batsmen, Nathon Lyon and Brad Haddin, fell to Shami quickly. While Nyon had his stumps dismantled, wicketkeeper-batsman Haddin edged it to glovesman Wriddhiman Saha. Play was called off after the final wicket with four deliveries of the 90th over still to be bowled. Earlier, Clarke won the toss and decided to bat, a decision justified by Warner. He tore the Indian bowling apart in the first four overs as Australia raced to 40 runs. Warner milked three boundaries in the second over, bowled by Aaron, to make his intentions clear.

He smashed Shami in the next over for three more boundaries and continued to hit the fence regularly, forcing Kohli to replace an erratic Aaron in the sixth over.

Briefscores Australia 354/6 at stumps on day one vs India (Warner 145, Smith 72*, Clarke 60 retired hurt; Mohammad Shami 2/89, Varun Aaron 2/95).
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