Millennium Post

Kohli heroics go in vain

Kohli heroics go in vain
India virtually snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, slumping to an agonising 48-run loss in the pulsating first Test against Australia despite captain Virat Kohli's gallant second successive hundred on Saturday.

Chasing a competitive target of 364, India were cruising along comfortably at 242/2 before the hosts staged a dramatic comeback to grab eight wickets for 73 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The Indians folded for 315 in 87.1 overs with Kohli (141) and Murali Vijay (99) being the only ones to notch up noteworthy knocks even as seven batsmen departed without touching the double digit mark.

Kohli became only the second player in Indian Test history to score a century in both innings on his debut as captain but the stupendous feat was completely overshadowed by the shockingly inept performance by his other batting colleagues, who seemed bent on committing harakiri. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowler as he exploited the rough on the track to good effect to finish with figures for 7/152 for an overall haul of 12 wickets in the match. Lyon was adjudged Man of the Match for his superlative effort.

The result will come as a huge disappointment for the Indians, who virtually lost the match in the very last session when eight wickets fell in quick succession. Kohli was left to rue yet another of India's infamous batting collapses after putting the team in a rather comfortable position right up till the tea session with a career-best knock. He was dismissed by Lyon.

For Kohli, it was his eighth career hundred even though he was left a disappointed man on his debut as captain. He got good support from Murali Vijay who was unlucky, missing out on what could have been his fifth Test hundred by just one run.

Kohli’s knock of 141 runs came off 175 balls and was laced with 16 fours and a six adding to his first-innings’ knock of 115 runs. Lyon picked up the best figures for a spinner against India in Australia with a match-haul of 12-286 to go with his 5-134 in his first innings.

This was after Australia had declared at their overnight score of 290/5. They had scored 517/7d in their first innings to which India had replied with 444 runs in their first attempt. Lyon was ably supported by Mitchell Johnson (2-45) and Ryan Harris (1-49). Peter Siddle (0-21), Shane Watson (0-6), Mitchell Marsh (0-11) and Steve Smith (0-18) were the other bowlers used.

BRIEFSCORES Australia 7 for 517 dec (Smith 162*, Warner 145, Clarke 128) and 5 for 290 dec (Warner 102) beat India 444 (Kohli 115, Lyon 5-134) and 315 (Kohli 141, Lyon 7-152) by 48 runs.
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