Bangalore: After a tight finish in Mohali a week ago, it was a tame finish in Bangalore as hosts India comfortably beat Australia by seven-wickets on day five of the second Test to wrap up the two-match series 2-0 on Wednesday and register their first win here in 15 years.
Needing 207 runs off a stipulated 77 overs, India achieved the target just after tea with Sachin Tendulkar (53) hitting the winning runs. Rahul Dravid was at the other end on 21. This was also the highest successful chase in Bangalore.
But it was Chesteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay who laid the foundation for the chase after the early loss of Virender Sehwag. Debutante Pujara, who was included in the lineup in place of the injured VVS Laxman, showed great poise and maturity at the No. 3 spot as he and Vijay matched stroke for stroke to send the Aussies on a leather hunt.
They duo put on 72 runs off just 78 deliveries before the first innings centurion was trapped lbw by Shane Watson for 37. Pujara, who was one-year-old when Tendulkar made his debut, then added 57 runs with the Master Blaster, bringing up his maiden Test fifty in the process.
Pujara, who has more than 4000 runs in first-class cricket, was unlucky to miss out on his 100 when he was bowled by Nathan Hauritz off 72 against the run of play.
India were then just 61 runs away and Tendulkar and Dravid made it look so easy from there.
Earlier in the day, the Australians added 21 runs to their overnight score and ended up being dismissed for 223 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Aussies lost the three wickets with Zaheer Khan dismissing Mitchell Johnson and Peter George and Sreesanth scalped Nathan Hauritz.
Zaheer Khan had a spell of 5.2-1-9-2, while Sreesanth 5-1-8-1. Resuming at their overnight score of 202 for 7, both Johnson and Hauritz were seen not taking too many chances against the Indian pace duo.
Zaheer was able to get the reverse swing quite often and succeeded in dismissing Johnson (11) in his fourth over of the first session. The ball jag sharply off the pitch to take Johnson’s off stump.
The Australian added four more runs to his overnight score of seven.
In the very next over, Sreesanth who was bowling menacingly, was paid for his hard work. A totally dried up pitch was giving some movements and Sreesanth was able to beat the batsmen since morning time and again.
Sreesanth’s full length delivery cut in after pitching on outside the off stump and the ball contacted Ben Hilfenhaus’ pads before hitting the stumps.
Zaheer ended the innings with a short ball that was gloved behind by Peter George (0), and Nathan Hauritz remained unbeaten on 21.