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India needed only 18 overs on day four to complete a eight-wicket win over Australia in the fourth and final Test of the series, which also helped India win the series 2-1 on Tuesday. Chasing a target of 106 runs, India reached there inside the first session on day four and with eight wickets in hand to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
KL Rahul was the backbone of the Indian innings as he steered his team to win with an unbeaten half-century, his sixth of the series. In his unbeaten innings of 52, Rahul hit nine boundaries and with Ajinkya Rahane, he ended all hopes for Australia.
Rahane too played an important innings for India as he counter-attacked Australian bowlers after two wickets fell in quick succession. He was unbeaten on 38 runs which he scored off only 27 balls. Rahane’s innings consisted of four fours and two sixes.
Resuming the day at 19 for no loss, India were quick to accumulate runs in the morning with Rahul playing some beautiful cover drives. He shared a 46-run opening stand with Murali Vijay.
Pat Cummins inflicted the first blow to India when he had Vijay caught behind when the Indian batsman was batting on eight runs. A short-length delivery rose up and moved away from Vijay off the seam. Vijay was caught on the crease and got a faint edge.
Australia’s hopes off pulling off a miracle rose when Glenn Maxwell ran-out Cheteshwar Pujara for a duck next over. Pujara hesitated after calling for single and Maxwell was quick with the direct-hit. India still needed 61 runs to win the match.
But, Rahane put the attacking mode on right from the start and even hit Cummins for consecutive boundaries. The Indian skipper remained not out on 38. India were set a target of 106 by Australia, who were bowled out for 137 in their second innings. Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each while Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with a wicket.
The match was set up by India’s show with the bat as hosts, responding to Australia’s 300 in the first innings, managed 332 in their first essay and took a crucial 32-run lead in the process.