Adelaide: Opener David Warner’s (102) second century in as many innings powered Australia to 290 for five in their second innings and gave the hosts a commanding 363-run lead against India after the fourth day of the first of the four-match Test series at the Adelaide Oval here Friday.
Left-hander Warner, who had scored a belligerent 145 in the first innings, registered his 11th ton to help the hosts build their lead quickly as India were bowled out for 444 thanks to off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s sixth five-wicket haul.
Warner scored at a brisk pace in a knock laced with 11 boundaries and a six, frustrating and demoralising the visitors.
The 28-year-old Warner first shared a 38-run stand for the first wicket with Chris Rogers (21) till the latter was dismissed by debutant spinner Karn Sharma. Rogers’ sweep went straight to Rohit Sharma at mid-wicket.
Warner, however, was unperturbed and singled out leggie Karn for special treatment, smacking him for six boundaries. He also used the sweep shot to nice effect against the spinner, mixing it up with straight drives and punches through the covers.
Shane Watson (33) did well to support Warner, who looked in no mood to let Indian bowlers go unpunished. Their 102-run partnership ended when a reverse swinging Mohammed Shami delivery went between Watson’s bat and pad to hit his stumps.
Warner continued with the show and also had luck on his side, getting bowled off a no ball on 66, misreading a Varun Aaron full delivery. He got a second reprieve while batting on 90 when he cut a delivery off Shami only for Murali Vijay at gully to grass a difficult chance.
Warner made most of the chances to complete his century with a pull to mid-wicket.
Warner lost his wicket soon after reaching the three figures, becoming the first Australian in five years to notch up 1000 Test runs in a year. He attempted a switch hit off a Karn delivery only to get bowled.
Skipper Michael Clarke (7) was dismissed cheaply, edging an Aaron delivery to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Steven Smith (not out 52) and Mitchell Marsh (40) continued to impress with useful knocks. Smith, who remained unbeaten at 162 in the first innings, completed his fifty in just 60 deliveries. Vice-captain Brad Haddin (not out 14) was at the crease with Smith at stumps.
Earlier, India managed to add only 75 runs to their overnight score of 369 for five and conceded a 73-run first innings lead. Lyon removed overnight batsmen Rohit (43) and Saha (25) before taking the wicket of Ishant Sharma to claim five wickets for 134 runs.
Indian batsmen Rohit and Wriddhiman made a sedate start as they scored only eight runs in the first seven overs Friday before the latter picked up two boundaries off left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke brought in Lyon and he dismissed Rohit in his second over of the day. The Indian batsman charged down the track but only managed to nudge it straight back into the bowler’s hand when the team’s total was 399.
Up next, Karn (4) had his stumps dismantled by pace bowler Peter Siddle. Leg-spinner Lyon got good purchase from the fourth day pitch, which offered variable pace and bounce.
He removed Wriddhiman with another loopy delivery which beat the batsman’s inside edge and kissed his thigh before landing in the waiting hands of Shane Watson at slips. Two deliveries later, Ishant failed to defend a ball which bounced sharply after hitting the rough, kissed his gloves and went straight into the hands of Smith at short leg.
Shami entertained the crowd with a quickfire 34 off 24 before he guided a Siddle delivery to Watson at gully to give Australia a sizeable lead.