India: devastating Dhoni double century has OZ 135 runs in the red

2013-02-25 00:00

AN unbeaten double century by Mahendra Singh Dhoni propelled the hosts to 515 for eight — a lead of 135 — on the third day of the first test against Australia in Chennai yesterday.

India’s captain was in brutal form, in only 231 balls he hit 21 fours and five sixes for 206 not out, his first-ever Test double-ton.

He will resume on day four together with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out). The pair put on an unbeaten 109 for the ninth wicket in just over 25 overs.

The hosts resumed the day on 182 for three, with Sachin Tendulkar (71 not out) nearing his first century in more than two years since the 146 he made against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011.

But it was not to be, when — having added 10 runs to his overnight score — Nathan Lyon found the rough outside the Little Master’s off stump, the ball spun sharply through the gate and disturbed the timber.

Fortunes changed as Dhoni joined Virat Kohli, and the pair took the attack to the visitors, especially trying to unsettle the off-spinner, with the captain hitting him for four fours in the hour before the interval.

An unbeaten 67 runs in fewer than 16 overs between the pair moved India along to 263 for four at lunch.

Australia picked up the wicket of Virat Kohli soon after the resumption, but not before the man from Bangalore had reached his fourth Test century.

However, only seven runs later, Nathan Lyon tossed one up and Kohli tried to go over mid-on, but could only watch as Mitchell Starc timed his jump superbly to take a brilliant overhead catch.

This brought to an end a 128-run stand between Kohli and his captain for the fifth wicket.

Dhoni carried on unperturbed, joined by Ravindra Jadeja (16), but the latter fell shortly before the tea break.

Australia snared Ravichandran Ashwin (three) and Harbhajan Singh (11) just after tea, but it was The Dhoni Show for the remainder of the day as India added 144 runs in the final session.

Scores in brief:

Australia 380 (Clarke 130, Henriques 68, Warner 59, Ashwin 7/103)

India 515/8 (Dhoni 206, Kohli 107, Tendulkar 81, Pattinson 4/89)

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