Australia emotions run gamut as Michael Clarke suffers injury in win

Emotionally charged from the start following the death of Phillip Hughes, the first Test between Australia and India did not disappoint at the finish.
It was a win-lose situation for Australia at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. In defeating India by 48 runs, Australia may have lost Michael Clarke, left, to another hamstring injury. Michael Dodge / Getty Images
It was a win-lose situation for Australia at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. In defeating India by 48 runs, Australia may have lost Michael Clarke, left, to another hamstring injury. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

ADELAIDE, Australia // Emotionally charged from the start following the death of Phillip Hughes, the first Test between Australia and India did not disappoint at the finish on Saturday.

Adding drama to the day, Australia captain Michael Clarke said yet another hamstring injury might bring his career to an end. Spinner Nathan Lyon took seven second-innings wickets and 12 for the match as Australia pulled off a stunning 48-run win at the Adelaide Oval.

India looked set to achieve a record fourth-innings run chase after stand-in captain Virat Kohli (141) and opener Murali Vijay (99) led India through a second session without loss.

Thousands of Indian fans were on their feet over the final two hours of the match as the side pushed for victory.

But Australia took eight wickets in the final session and the match was ended by Lyon on a stumping, prompting emotional celebrations by an Australia team playing their first match since the death of teammate Hughes two weeks ago.

Needing 364 runs for victory from 98 overs on the final day, India was 105-2 at lunch and 205-2 at tea. The 159 more runs required in the final session was a temptingly achievable target for India’s batsmen, who kept playing their shots in pursuing a record run chase rather than trying to grind out a draw.

The highest victorious fourth-innings Test total at the Adelaide Oval remains Australia’s 315-6 against England in 1902, while Australia-India Tests continue to go in favour of home teams, having now won 12 in a row.

“The boys deserve a lot of credit to keep trying to win the game,” Clarke said. “They were willing to lose to win. I thought if India were good enough to make 360, credit to them. But credit to our boys, and our bowlers.”

Clarke wasn’t being optimistic about his most recent injury.

“The scans are not great, they have certainly showed a tear there,” Clarke said. “The experts are looking at them and I can pretty confidently say that I won’t take part in this Test series.

“There’s a chance I may never play again. I hope that’s not the case and I’ll be doing everything in my power to get back out on the park, but I have to be realistic as well.”

Kohli produced a superb performance to score his second century of the match, and his departure proved the decisive blow for Australia, which quickly dismissed the remaining batsmen.

“I told the guys last night that whatever target it was, we were going to chase it. I believed in my ability,” Kohli said.

“If me and Vijay added about 40 runs there, the game would have been different. You see one opening and the team capitalises, and that’s what Australia did.”

The match began Tuesday with tributes to Hughes. The Australian players wore “408” on their shirts – Hughes’s Test cap number – and a 63-second standing ovation and applause was held in honour of the 63 runs Hughes scored on November 25 before taking the fatal blow on a ball that hit him in the head.

The first Test was not even supposed to be in Adelaide – the Gabba Test at Brisbane was shifted from its original date last week, the day after the Hughes funeral – and will now begin Wednesday.

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Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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