Ponting, Clarke hit tons as Australia dominate

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Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 8:31 [IST]
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Ponting and Clarke put Australia on top

Adelaide, Jan 24: Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke scored unbeaten centuries to put Australia in a commanding position against India on the opening day of the fourth and final Test here at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

After winning a good toss, the home team piled up 335/3 in 90 overs at the end of Day 1. Ponting (137 not out, 254 balls, 13 fours) and captain Clarke (140 not out, 188 balls, 19 fours, one six) plundered runs at will against an Indian bowling unit lacking inspiration after a good opening session.

[Scorecard: India vs Australia, Adelaide]

Ponting and Clarke, who came together with their team in a spot of bother at 84/3, were not separated at stumps for a partnership of 251.

This was Ponting's 41st Test ton while Clarke completed his 19th in his 80th Test. Both had struck centuries in Sydney also where Clarke went on to register his career best score of 329 not out. Ponting had made 134 then.

The pair added 121 runs in 32 overs in the final session of the day. India went wicketless for two sessions after lunch.

Before the series started, there were question marks over Ponting's form and he has answered his critics in a big way. So far he has scored 400 runs in the series while his captain Clarke leads the run charts with 519.

The same pair had tormented India in the Sydney Test being together for a partnership of 288 runs.

For India, Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets while Zaheer Khan had one.

Australia have already won the four-match series 3-0 and are looking for a whitewash.

Earlier Report: Till Tea

Australia continue to dominate after lunch as the hosts managed 116 runs between lunch and tea. They were 214/3 in 58 overs. Ponting (91*) and Clarke (71*) were at the crease.

Skipper Michael Clarke scored his 22nd Test fifty while Ricky Ponting became the third batsman in Test cricket history to cross 13,000 runs.

[Also read: Ponting completes 13,000 Test runs]

Australia suffered early shocks when Zaheer Khan trapped David Warner (8) and Shaun Marsh (3) was bowled Out by R Ashwin, the miserable form continues for Marsh.

Ponting and Ed Cowan shared a valuable third wicket stand of 53 runs to revive Aussie innings after early blows.

Australia were under pressure at 31/2 at 9.6 overs.

India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag decided to play a lone spinner R Ashwin to replace R Vinay Kumar.

India have already lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 3-0 with humiliating defeats.

Earlier Aussie skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and decided to bat first in the final Test in Adelaide.


India: Virender Sehwag (Capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, Wriddhimaan Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

Australia: Michael Clarke (Capt.), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (WK), Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon.


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