Cricket: Ashwin strikes to remove Finch as Australia chase 323

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Dec
9

ADELAIDE (Reuters) – Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin removed opening batsman Aaron Finch in the last over before tea to leave Australia 28 for one in pursuit of 323 for victory on day four of the first test on Sunday.

Finch was given out caught by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant for 11 after the ball whistled by his glove but was in two minds as to whether to review the decision at Adelaide Oval.

After conferring with fellow opener Marcus Harris, he trudged off without appealing but the technology showed no clear evidence that he had gloved the ball.

Harris was 14 not out, with number three Usman Khawaja expected to join him after the break.

Bowled for a third-ball duck by Ishant Sharma in the first innings, Finch was earlier saved from a second-ball duck off the same bowler after he was trapped in front and given out lbw.

He reviewed that decision more in hope than conviction and the replay showed the paceman had overstepped the mark.

The wicket was otherwise confirmed by the technology, leaving Ishant in bitter dismay.

The openers had pulled Australia within 295 runs of victory at a venue where the highest successful fourth innings chase was the 315 the hosts scored to reel in England in 1902.

India had earlier resumed at 260 for five after lunch in complete control but squandered the chance to bat Australia out of the match with a quick and shambolic collapse.

Pant smashed spinner Nathan Lyon for three fours and a huge slog-sweep for six over deep square in consecutive balls but was out for 28 off Lyon’s next delivery, sending a mistimed slog straight to Finch at deep cover point.

Ashwin survived a difficult stumping chance off Lyon but made little of the reprieve, pulling Mitchell Starc straight to Harris at deep backward point to be out for five.

Ajinkya Rahane threw away his wicket for 70 with a reverse sweep off Lyon to backward point where Starc jogged across to take a simple catch.

Lyon was on a hat-trick when Mohammed Shami tried to slog him over his head but managed only to sky the ball to Harris at deep midwicket.

Starc wrapped up the innings with his third victim when Ishant was out for a duck, popping up a catch in close after failing to deal with a short ball.

Editing by Peter Rutherford/Amlan Chakraborty

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