Australia v India: Tourists closing in on victory in Adelaide

Shaun Marsh and Travis Head remain unbeaten at the crease for AustraliaFirst Test, Adelaide Oval (day four):Australia 235 & 104-4: Marsh 31*India 250 & 307: Rahane 71, Pujara 70, Lyon 6-122ScorecardIndia are closing in on a first Test victory in Australia for 10 years after continuing to dominate the opening match of their series in Adelaide.The tourists added 156 to their overnight 151-3, despite losing their final four wickets for four runs, as they set their hosts 323 to win.Australia, whose record fourth-innings run chase at Adelaide is 315-6 against England in 1902, ended day four 104-4.Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets but Shaun Marsh is 31 not out.Marsh has spent more than two hours at the crease and negotiated a testing final dozen overs in the company of Adelaide-born Travis Head, who was Australia’s top scorer in first innings with 72.However, the tourists will be encouraged by Australia spinner Nathan Lyon taking 6-122 to run through their middle order.The spinner took the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara (70) and Ajinkya Rahane (71), to end their 87-run fourth-wicket partnership and start a collapse that saw India lose their final seven wickets for 73 runs.Australia’s chase was checked by Ashwin, who also took advantage of a turning pitch, to have opener Aaron Finch caught by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant for 11.Ashwin then removed Usman Khawaja (8) after pace bowler Mohammed Shami had Marcus Harris (26) nick a delivery to Pant.And when Peter Handscomb miscued an attempted pull shot off Shami straight to Pujara at short mid-wicket, Australia were 84-4.But Marsh and Head steadied the innings to take the match into its final day.AnalysisSam Sheringham, BBC Stumped producer at the Adelaide OvalAnother gripping day of cricket finished with India starting to inhale the warm aromas of a first Test victory on Australian soil since 2008.Just when the talk had turned to the timing of an Indian declaration, a sudden collapse gave Australia an outside chance.But the big partnership the hosts required never materialised as relentless pressure from both ends brought wickets at regular intervals.Shaun Marsh’s spirited unbroken stand with the in-form local boy Travis Head keeps the game alive, but in reality it would take something extraordinary for the hosts to turn this around.

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