Sports

Australia happy after day one in Perth despite India fightback

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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PERTH, Australia (AFP) — Australia were pleased with their overall position at the end of the first day of the second Test against India yesterday, despite several top-order batsmen failing to capitalise on promising starts in Perth.

A century opening partnership after captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat appeared to lay the foundation for a sizeable total on a challenging pitch at Test cricket's newest venue, but openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch were among a number of top-order players who couldn't build the big individual score Australia craved.

At stumps on a scorching day, the home side were 277 for six, with Tim Paine on 16 and Pat Cummins on 11, a crowd of 20,746 braving the heat to be part of history on the first day of Test cricket at the new Optus Stadium.

Finch, who made 50 at the top of the order to ease some of the pressure on his spot in the team, said the Australians were satisfied with their work given the conditions.

“I thought we batted really well today,” he said, adding that the wicket presented “some challenges”.

India dropped two chances and ended the day with concerns of their own.

Paceman Ishant Sharma briefly left the field late in the day with what team officials said was cramp, and their batsmen would have been slightly alarmed by some of the variable bounce.

Four Australian batsmen made over 40, but none went on to post a substantial innings.

Second-gamer Harris led the way with 70, Finch made 50, Travis Head hit 58 before throwing his wicket away, and local favourite Shaun Marsh made 45.

SCOREBOARD

Australia

First innings

M Harris c Rahane b Vihari 70

A Finch lbw Bumrah 50

U Khawaja c Pant b Yadav 5

S Marsh c Rahane b Vihari 45

P Handscomb c Kohli b Sharma 7

T Head c Shami b Sharma 58

T Paine not out 16

P Cummins not out 11

Extras (b4, lb3, nb1, w7) 15

Total (for six wickets; 90 overs) 277

Fall of wickets: 1-112 (Finch), 2-130 (Khawaja), 3-134 (Harris), 4-148 (Handscomb), 5-232 (Marsh), 6-251 (Head)

Bowling: Sharma 16-7-35-2 (nb1), Bumrah 22-8-41-1, Yadav 18-2-68-1 (1w), Shami 19-3-63-0 (1w), Vihari 14-1-53-2, Vijay 1-0-10-0

Australia won toss

Umpires: K Dharmasena (SRL), C Gaffaney (NZL)

TV umpire: N Llong (ENG)

Match referee: R Madugalle (SRL)

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