Tale of two triumphant Tests

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Yesterday (24th November) was a day to celebrate for Indo-Australians. Both their countries won their cricket Tests by an innings with hours to spare. In both the Tests fast bowlers were behind their facile victories.

Australia defeated Pakistan by an innings and five runs with a day to spare in Brisbane to lead 1-0 in the two Test series.

A few hours later India thumped Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the Kolkata day-night pink ball Test with almost three days to spare. India comfortably won the two-Test series 2-0. This was India’s 7th Test win in a row, a record.

Brisbane Test

Batting first Pakistan was dismissed for 240, Ashad Shafiq (76 runs) was the only one to resist the pace of Australian bowlers. Mitchell Starc was the most successful bowler, taking 4 for 52.

With centuries by David Warner (154) and Marnus Labuschagne (185) and 97 by Joe Burns Australia amassed 580. Openers Warner and Burns put on 222 for the first wicket followed by Warner and Labuschagne adding 129 for the second. At one stage Australia was flying high at 1 for 351 till 16 year-old Naseem Shah dismissed Warner.

Trailing by 340 runs, Pakistan lost their first five wickets cheaply but were rescued by Babar Azam (104 runs) and Mohammad Rizwan (95) who added 132 gallant runs for the 6th wicket. But with speedsters Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummings excelling, Pakistan was all out for 335 to lose by an innings.

Queenslander Labuschagne was made Man of the Match.

Kolkata day-night pink ball Test

Bangladesh won the toss and batted but was shot out for 106, fast bowlers Ishant Sharma (5 for 22) and Umesh Yadav (3 for 29) being the destroyers.

India declared at 9 for 347 (skipper Virat Kohli 137, Cheteshwar Pujara 55 and Ajinkya Rahane 51) to lead by 241 runs.

Indian fast bowlers again terrified the Bangla bats ”“ many were hit on their helmet with two of them retiring hurt ”“ and were all out for 195 to lose by an innings and plenty. Mushfiqur Rahim was the only batsman to resist the fiery Indian attack and scored 74.

Ishant Sharma was voted both Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

The highlight of the match was the huge attendance, a rarity for a Test match in India these days. Should India stage more day-night Tests?

India tops ICC World Test Championship table with 360 points in seven Tests followed by Australia way behind with 116 points in six Tests.

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