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Day 5 of 5
India won by 1 wickets.

India vs Australia

India edge Mohali thriller

Laxman heroics deny Australia in epic series opener

India celebrate a dramatic win in Mohali

VVS Laxman overcame excruciating back spasms and a spirited Australia fightback to inspire India to a dramatic one-wicket victory in the first Test at Mohali.

First Test Match Mohali Australia 428 (S R Watson 126, T D Paine 92, R T Ponting 71, Z Khan 5-94) & 192 (S R Watson 56) v India 405 (S R Tendulkar 98, S K Raina 86, R Dravid 77, V Sehwag 59, M G Johnson 5-64) & 216-9 (V V S Laxman 73 no, B W Hilfenhaus 4-57) India beat Australia by 1 wkt

The experienced right-hander stood firm with an unbeaten knock of 73 to prolong Ricky Ponting's wait for a first win in India as captain.

That wait looked to be coming to an end when Australia reduced their opponents to 124-8 in pursuit of the 216 victory target, however a gutsy 81-run partnership between Laxman and Ishant Sharma put India on the brink of a famous win.

The Test took another twist when Ben Hilfenhaus (4-57) returned to trap Sharma lbw for 31, a wicket that brought number 11 Pragyan Ojha and Laxman together with 11 runs still required for victory.

Ojha survived a huge lbw shout from Mitchell Johnson, and when substitute fielder Steve Smith missed with a shy at the stumps, the ball sailed to the boundary to put the home side two runs from victory.

The win was sealed two balls later after Johnson strayed down leg - the ball diverting off Ojha's pad and down to fine leg for a scrambled two.

The teams will head to Bangalore on Saturday where Australia will look to level the series in the second and final Test.

Milestone

Resuming the final day on 55-4, India started positively with Sachin Tendulkar hitting two crisp boundaries off Aussie off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, one through the covers and the other through mid-wicket.

However, just as India looked to be forcing themselves back into contention, Hauritz found the edge of Zaheer Khan's bat, and the nightwatchman was sent on his way when Michael Clarke snaffled at first slip.

When on 35, Tendulkar also reached the milestone of scoring 1,000 Test runs in 2010, the world record sixth time he has achieved the mark.

Laxman, who had been held back in the batting line-up due to ongoing back spasms, signalled his arrival with back-to-back boundaries in Hauritz's next over to take the hosts past the 100-run mark.

The experienced duo continued scoring at over six runs per over, but the home team were dealt a massive blow when Tendulkar steered Doug Bollinger's well-directed short ball straight to Michael Hussey at gully.

The sixth-wicket pair had added 43 runs in just 6.1 overs but the wicket of Tendulkar, who had scored 38 off 64 balls with five boundaries, left India reeling on 119-6.

Their plight worsened just four overs later when a horrible mix-up between runner Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni resulted in the India skipper being run out short of his ground for just two.

New batsman Harbhajan Singh lasted only two deliveries before falling to Bollinger (3-32) - Ponting claiming a simple catch in the slips.

Questionable

From 76-4 India had slipped to 124-8, and an Australia victory looked a formality.

However, Laxman and Ishant had other ideas, the pair digging deep to reach lunch unscathed and building on their fine start thereafter.

Laxman reached his 11th half-century against Australia with 48 runs still required for victory, however Sharma equalled his highest-ever score of 31 to put India on the brink.

His stay was cruelly ended by a questionable lbw decision from umpire Ian Gould, bringing last man Ojha out to the middle to join Laxman.

Scrambled singles and a few running mix-ups followed, and when umpire Billy Bowden turned down a plumb looking lbw shout from Johnson and an overthrow from Smith found the rope, the game looked to be up.

It was, just as soon as Johnson had misdirected down leg and India had scampered two to collect a thrilling win in front of their home fans.

Match Details

Date
1st - 5th Oct 2010
Toss
Venue
Punjab Cricket Assocn. Stadium, Mohali
Umpires
B F Bowden and I J Gould

india BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Gambhir lbw b Hilfenhaus 0
Sehwag c Hussey b Hilfenhaus 17
Dravid c Paine b Bollinger 13
Tendulkar c Hussey b Bollinger 38
Raina c North b Hilfenhaus 0
Khan c Clarke b Hauritz 10
Laxman not out 73
Dhoni run out 2
Singh c Ponting b Bollinger 2
Sharma lbw b Hilfenhaus 31
Ojha not out 5
Extras 1nb, 6w, 10b, 8lb 25
Total Close, 58.4 Overs 216 - 9
Full Batting Card

australia BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Hilfenhaus 19 3 57 4
Bollinger 8 0 32 3
Johnson 16.4 2 50 0
Hauritz 9 1 45 1
North 4 0 8 0
Watson 2 0 6 0
Full Bowling Card