VVS Laxman starred with an unbeaten 73 as India edged to a thrilling one wicket victory over England’s Ashes opponents Australia in Mohali.
Pursuing 216 to win India - who play a Test and a One Day International at Lord’s against England next summer - looked to have let a winning position slide when they were reduced to 124-8 on the final morning.
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Little Master in commanding form
Laxman, batting with a runner, put on a priceless 81 with tail-ender Ishant Sharma, who made 31, before combining with No.11 Pragyan Ojha to knock off the last 11 runs.
Zaheer Khan was the star with the ball for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side, collecting the man-of-the-match award with figures of 8-136, finding prodigious reverse swing.
Sachin Tendulkar passed 1,000 Test match runs in a calendar year for a record sixth time in the second innings. He fell short of a 49th Test century by just two runs in a typically graceful first innings knock.
The 37-year-old batsman continued his excellent recent form and looks likely to be the star turn again next year on a final visit to England where he will hope to improve his disappointing record at the Home of Cricket.
Some inspired bowling from Australia's seam attack of Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger almost rescued Ricky Ponting’s side after they crumpled from 87-0 to 193 all-out in their second innings.
Shane Watson solidified his place as opening batsman with a century and a half-century in the match but familiar worries over No.6 Marcus North and spinner Nathan Hauritz resurfaced.
North’s place for the second and final Test could come under threat from leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith as Australia countdown towards their quest to regain the Ashes.
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