Henriques delays Australia defeat

David Warner is out lbw.
David Warner is out lbw.

CHENNAI – Ravi Ashwin moved his match figures to 12 for 193 as India closed in on a big victory over Australia on day four of the first Test in Chennai today.After India compiled a first-innings total of 572, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally being dismissed for 224, Australia were reduced to 232-9 by the close of play – a lead of just 40.

Ashwin returned 5 for 90 to add to his seven scalps from the first innings and all 19 of the tourists’ wickets during the match so far have fallen to spinners.It had looked like the victory would be completed well before stumps but an unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 57 between Test debutant Moises Henriques and Nathan Lyon scuppered the hosts’ celebration plans.

India had resumed on 515-8 and added 57 more during the morning session to end their first innings with a healthy lead of 192.

Dhoni, on 206 overnight, departed when he was caught behind off the bowling of James Pattinson (5 for 96) after registering the highest score by an India captain.

Australia faced a tough challenge on a pitch that was so conducive to spin that India bowled an incredible 75 overs before introducing their first seamer into the attack.

David Warner was deemed too ill to open and was replaced by Shane Watson (17), who along with fellow opener Ed Cowan (32) was dismissed by Ashwin.Warner did come in at No 3 and made 23 before being trapped lbw by Harbhajan Singh, while Phil Hughes went for duck after gloving a sharply-rising ball from Ravindra Jadeja to Virender Sehwag.Ashwin accounted for Australia skipper Michael Clarke to leave the tourists on 131-6, but Henriques, who scored 68 in the first innings, added another stubborn half century.

The 26-year-old finished unbeaten on 75, including a pair of sixes, but his partnership with Lyon (8 not out) looks to be merely delaying the inevitable. (Sky)††

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