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80th over: India 252-7 (Patel 67, Ashwin 37) More pain for Australia, Axar plunders another four from a cut shot and Ashwin gets in on the fun too, gliding Lyon away to the fence behind point. The game slipping away from the Aussies even though they still have a small lead. The run rate for the session is above four runs an over – India have collected 73 runs and counting. The tourists are wilting. NEW BALL DUE.
79th over: India 243-7 (Patel 52, Ashwin 32) Yikes. Axar Patel gets on the front foot and unfurls a howitzer of a cover drive off Pat Cummins. Next ball he stands tall and rasps a cut shot to the fence! The crowd go crackers. Some innings this from Axar and the partnership between himself and Ashwin goes to 103.
78th over: India 232-7 (Patel 52, Ashwin 32) Nathan Lyon seems to have been bowling for a fortnight. A single to Axar reduces the deficit to just 30. A lot of Australian hopes rest on the new ball which is just a couple of overs away.
77th over: India 231-7 (Patel 51, Ashwin 32) A lesser spotted bouncer! Cummins gets some lift out of the middle of the pitch and the ball thunks into Ashwin’s shoulder and balloons to Steve Smith at slip. A weary looking Cummins sends down a maiden. NewsFlash: Playing cricket against India in India is HARD.
76th over: India 231-7 (Patel 51, Ashwin 32) Patel has hit two towering sixes and four fours in his 51, Australia are desperate for a wicket. Pat Cummins senses his team need him and comes on for a bowl with the new ball due in four overs.
75th over: India 230-7 (Patel 51, Ashwin 31) Consecutive fifties for Axar Patel and he brings it up in some style! Matt Kuhnemann is called upon to send down a few dead-dog overs before the new ball… Patel doesn’t let him settle and smears him away for a huge six over deep-midwicket. A match-turning knock from Axar Patel, he’s knocked the stuffing out of the Aussies in the past hour or so.
74th over: India 222-7 (Patel 43, Ashwin 31) Four more! Ashwin flicks Lyon off his pads for a fine four. India trail by just 41 now. Australia look sapped out there, physically and mentally.
73rd over: India 218-7 (Patel 43, Ashwin 27) Matthew ‘Haydos/The ‘Dos’ Hayden is on the tv commentary with Ravi Shastri. I love his Aussie drawl and he’s an insightful reader fo the game. “I reckon Virat jumped off the boat just as they were about to come around and serve cocktails.” Lovely. Eight runs are plundered off Travis Head’s second over, he ends it by going to full and Axar does not miss out – pouncing on it and driving down the ground for four. Hayden chirps up, “This partnership has gone way past annoying and into critical for Australia.”
72nd over: India 210-7 (Patel 36, Ashwin 26) Lyon continues and is dealt with comfortably until the end of the over when the ball spins past Patel’s edge. It was slow turn though. Australia still have seven overs to get through before they get their mitts on a shiny new ball. The scores might be level by then…
71st over: India 208-7 (Patel 35, Ashwin 25) Head starts tidily enough, a couple collected from his first over.
70th over: India 206-7 (Patel 34, Ashwin 24) Ashwin gets a tickle past Matt Renshaw at leg slip and it is another boundary to India. More noise. The deficit was 124 runs when Ashwin and Axar came together and now it’s down to 50-odd. The ball has gone soft and is giving the batters plenty of time to line it up. Travis Head is summoned!
69th over: India 202 -7 (Patel 34, Ashwin 20) Another lengthy meeting between Cummins and co. The over rate is nicht gut. The crowd sense the Aussies dawdling and up the decibel count once more. It’s great theatre even though nowt much is really happening. Ashwin pushes a single into the covers and it brings raptures. Fantastic stuff. This partnership of 63 runs is now the biggest of the match.
68th over: India 201 -7 (Patel 34, Ashwin 19) India go past 200 with four byes as Lyon fizzes one down the leg-side and past a grasping Alex Carey. The crowd in Delhi sense a shifting of the power grapple in this Test and start to cheer every ball. The deficit is down to 62 runs.
67th over: India 197-7 (Patel 34, Ashwin 19) Murphy continues and is worked for four runs off the over. It all looks quite comfortable for India now and the Aussies are starting to look a little frustrated. Is it time to give Travis Head a whirl? The end of each over sees a mini conference between Cummins and his chief lieutenants.
66th over: India 193-7 (Patel 33, Ashwin 16) Lyon is on the prowl and sends down a maiden.
Greg Wood gets in touch:
“Could it be said that India’s batters today have been sacrificed to the GOAT? I might go and cremate something in the tandoor as a burnt offering to the cricketing gods.
I’ll see myself out.”
See that you do. Close the heavy OBO oak door behind you too, Greg.
65th over: India 193-7 (Patel 33, Ashwin 16) A single to each batter off Todd Murphy.
An email entitled ‘Nipped in the Bud’ pings in from Saurya Chakraborty:
“That Kohli dismissal from earlier was heartbreaking in many ways – given both his recent lean patch in this format and how NAILED ON he looked for a big score today before that (unfortunate?) dismissal. I’d love if you and the rest of the OBO veterans can recall any other innings where they thought a player looked set for a big one before it ended abruptly (preferably in tragically hilarious circumstances). We can probably avoid James Vince and Crawley from this discussion altogether!
Over to you OBO hivemind! I reckon Ricky Ponting looked nailed on every time he batted…
64th over: India 191-7 (Patel 32, Ashwin 15) Is that a drop? Lyon paws at his pate in frustration as he finds the edge of Patel’s bat and Steve Smith seems to dive over the ball in the slips. Smith is a fantastic slipper but is going through a poor trot of form at the moment. Mark Waugh, who knows a thing or two about pouching them in the slips, reckons he rose too quickly and couldn’t get back down again.
63rd over: India 186-7 (Patel 28, Ashwin 14) Todd Murphy begins after tea, spectacle frames glinting in the late afternoon sun. Ashwin clips for a couple and four leg byes are squeaked through from a missed sweep. India don’t care how they come. If they can get to within 5o or so runs of Australia then this Test basically becomes a one innings crapshoot, and wouldn’t that be fun (for the neutral at least).
Meanwhile in New Zealand…
62nd over: India 179-7 (Patel 28, Ashwin 11) Kuhnemann to bowl the last over before tea. Ashwin nudges a single. A drag down is then laced through the covers by Axar, he’s seeing it big and it’s a statement of intent to end the session. Australia have picked up three wickets – including the silver tuna Virat Kohli – but this partnership is already up to a frustrating (for them) 40 off just 66 balls. The Straya first innings lead is 84 runs. Join us for what promises to be an intriguing final session. Off for a cup of Java, back soon!
61st over: India 174-7 (Patel 24, Ashwin 10) Axar is wielding the his err axe with relish. Cummins drops short and is cracked away through the covers, a whip-cracking cut shot that Indiana Jones or The Judge himself would be proud of.
60th over: India 170-7 (Patel 20, Ashwin 10) The lead is now less than a hundred. Patel lofts a four off Kuhnemann that goes for a one bounce four and follows it up by nailing a slog sweep high and handsome into the crowd. SIXAH! As a bouffant Mark Nicholas would say.
59th over: India 159-7 (Patel 9, Ashwin 10) As if to prove me wrong for besmirching him in these pages, Patel gets on the front foot and drives Cummins down the ground for a bootiful four. That’s me told, Axar. Ay carumba! Forget skidding low – Cummins gets one to rear up and whistle past Ashwin’s flailing attempted cut. From a personal POV it is a joy to have a pace bowler on, a Cummins over takes a good minute longer than one from the spinners.
First world OBO problems eh?
58th over: India 153-7 (Patel 5, Ashwin 9) Lyon whirls away and lands six balls on the button, a maiden keeps the pressure on. Pat Cummins is coming on for a spell, if he can get the ball to skid low at his pace then he could mop up these last few wickets quickly. Not that either of these batters would thank me for lumping them in with the tail.
57th over: India 153-7 (Patel 5, Ashwin 9) Murphy is accurate if a tad unthreatening. Patel works a single.
56th over: India 152-7 (Patel 4, Ashwin 9) The pitch continues to throw up – or down – the odd grubber. Lyon pins Ashwin with one on the back foot but it was heading down leg. A strangled appeal from ‘Gaz’.
Righto, as things have quietened down a bit let’s do some pleasantries. Who is out there and tuning in aboard the good ship OBO? You can get in touch with an ‘Ahoy!’ or with whatever you like really. Thoughts, theories and Saturday musings very much welcome. You can whang me an Email or drop me a tweet @Jimbo_Cricket.
55th over: India 151-7 (Patel 4, Ashwin 9) Todd Murphy into the attack, his line is a little off, starting the ball too straight to cause too many problems but it results in a maiden nonetheless. The camera cuts to Virat Kohli in the India dressing room, he is clearly ticking – either at himself or at the third umpire. My money is on the latter but FWIW I reckon it was the right call.
54th over: India 151-7 (Patel 4, Ashwin 9) Counterpunch from Ravichandran Ashwin, he’s such a sweet timer of the ball. Kuhnemann drops his length a smidge and is punched through the covers for another four.
53rd over: India 146-7 (Patel 4, Ashwin 4) Lyon twirls in with his dander well and truly up, every ball an event. Patel does well to jam down on one into the leg-side to pick up two runs.
52nd over: India 144-7 (Patel 1, Ashwin 4) Ashwin is the new batter and India need all his nouse with the blade. He gets going straight away by driving Kuhnemann square for four.
Lyon has five wickets! A gloved top edge is safely snaffled. India on the ropes here, they still trail by 123 runs. Australia crowd the bat and smell blood, any half decent first innings lead could prove crucial on this ragging wicket.
51st over: India 139-7 (Patel 0, Ashwin 0 )
50th over: India 135-6 (Bharat 2, Patel 0 ) Thanks Jonathan, I just snorted into my morning cuppa! The silence was indeed palpable when Kohli was eventually given… and then there was Ravi Shastri. Hello everyone. Crikey, what a time to take over the tools! The pitch is shooting and the game is on a knife edge. Axar Patel is the new man at the crease.
And on that bombshell, I will hand you over to James Wallace. Thanks for your company today, catch you back here soon.
I have been on fire with my commentary curses today. Kuhnemann has Kohli LBW! From around the wicket the ball angled into the right hander, pitched, straightened, and hit pad and inside-edge simultaneously. Kohli reviews, and the third umpire rock-n-rolls repeatedly in an attempt to determine what the ball hit first. This is gripping. India’s star, just going through the gears, against Australia’s debutant. Richard Illingworth can’t see enough on snicko to overturn the onfield decision, so we go to DRS. KOHLI IS OUT! Incredible scenes. The silence on TV commentary says it all. When that is pierced Ravi Shastri sounds like someone’s just keyed his car.