Australia Defeats India by 122 Runs in Opening Cricket Test in Melbourne

Australia beat India by 122 runs in the first cricket Test in Melbourne, ending an eight-match winless run against its opponent to go 1-0 up in their best-of- four contest.

Man-of-the-match James Pattinson took 4-53 and fellow fast bowler Peter Siddle claimed 3-42 as India slumped to 169 all out after tea on day four chasing 292 for victory. Sachin Tendulkar top scored for the Indians with 32.

It was Australia’s first Test win against India since January 2008. India holds the Border-Gavaskar Trophy contested by the teams after winning its last two home Test series against the Australians.

“It’s great to get a win in this first Test match but we know they are going to come hard at us in Sydney,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said at the presentation ceremony.

The second Test starts Jan. 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with matches in Perth and Adelaide to follow.

Australia secured victory in the series opener with a day to spare after resuming its second innings at 179-8. After Zaheer Khan removed Mike Hussey for 89, Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus put on 43 runs for the last wicket as the home team added 61 to its overnight total.

“In both innings their lower order scored a few runs,” said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “That really made the difference. If we had got them out, maybe we would have been chasing 60-70 runs less.”

Middle Session Slump

With India seeking the highest successful fourth-innings run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground since 1953, Hilfenhaus removed opener Virender Sehwag before the lunch break. India then lost five wickets for 42 runs in the middle session, falling to 81-6 with Tendulkar’s dismissal.

Australia got the remaining four wickets after tea. Spin bowler Nathan Lyon secured his only wicket of the match to seal the victory when David Warner leapt to take a catch on the boundary to dismiss Umesh Yadav.

Pattinson, 21, took his second man-of-the-match award in three Tests after taking six wickets and hitting not out scores of 18 and 37 with the bat. He lifted his tally of wickets to 20 from his first three matches at cricket’s elite level.

“It’s a pretty surreal sort of feeling for me at the moment,” Pattinson said. “To come here and win the Boxing Day Test, it’s just unbelievable.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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