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Australia send India on leather hunt in Adelaide Test

Adelaide, Tue, 24 Jan 2012 ANI

Adelaide (Australia), Jan.24 (ANI): Skipper Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting sent India on a leather hunt on day one of the fourth and final Test being played at the Adelaide Oval here on Tuesday, taking Australia to an imposing 335 for the loss of three wickets at the close.


Clarke was unbeaten on 140, while Ponting was on 137. The two have so far added 251 for the fourth wicket.


Earlier, India made inroads into the Australian batting line-up, snaring three quick wickets for 84 runs. Fast bowler Zaheer Khan claimed the wicket of David Warner (leg before wicket), while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed the wickets of Shaun Marsh (bowled) and Ed Cowan (caught by V.V.S.Laxman).


Thereafter, it was a run feast for the Australian fans, as both Ponting and Clarke dug in and pulverised the listless Indian bowling attack in ground conditions that were hot and uncomfortable, reaching a temperature high of 37 degrees Centigrade.


The Indians appeared to go down on their energy levels as the day's play progressed. At stumps, Ashwin said the visitors would seek to come back strongly in the game tomorrow and hoped to bowl Australia out. He said the batting conditions were perfect and was confident that India would also bat well.


For Ponting and Clarke, it was a second ton each in the series. Both have scored 400 plus runs, and Clarke has over 500 so far in the series. India did have their chances. On 36, Clarke chased a wide delivery from Ishant Sharma and edged to where first slip should have been, but Sehwag had the fielder floating at second slip instead. Shortly before stumps, Ishant again found Clarke's edge again on 133, with the second new ball. This time there were two slips in, but VVS Laxman at second could not cling on diving to his right.


Ponting also passed 13,000 Test runs, the third man behind Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to reach the mark, but a subdued bat-raise and handshake with Clarke was all that the milestone brought. He took 164 balls to reach his hundred. Clarke scored his century of 133 balls.


Earlier, Warner scored eight, Marsh scored three and Cowan 30.


Marsh's scores of 0, 3, 0, 11, 3 will almost certainly see his exclusion from the forthcoming tour of the West Indies. (ANI)


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