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Cricket | International

Clarke, Ashwin dominate first day



Michael Clarke's 23rd test century was the hub around which Australia built their first innings as they reached 316 for seven at stumps on the first day of the first test against India in Chennai on Friday.

Clarke was unbeaten on 103 - his sixth ton against India and third in India - as he held up his end while Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc at the other.

Clarke and Moises Henriques added 151 runs for the sixth wicket, before Aswin trapped the debutant for 68 in the evening session, finishing the day with 6-88.

Ravindra Jadeja got rid of Mitchell Starc before the close of play.

Peter Siddle was with Clarke at the end on a single.

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Australia were reduced to 215 for five at tea, having added 89 runs on top of the 126 they had at lunch.

Both Shane Watson and David Warner fell soon after the first break for 28 and 59 respectively.

Ashwin deceived Watson with a shorter ball that kept low and trapped him in the crease, while Warner - who continued playing back to the fuller one - also fell victim to the spinner and was wrapped on the pads in front.

Matthew Wade only made 12 before handing Ashwin his fifth wicket of the innings, playing down the wrong line and was also adjudged leg-before.

Earlier, the visitors saw off the new ball after they opted to bat first, with Ed Cowan and Warner adding 64 runs for the first wicket.

However, Warner did survive a few chances when first he was dropped by Virender Sehwag off Ashwin at first slip when he had 18, reminiscent of the dropped catch that gave Alastair Cook a life in Mumbai - also off Ashwin. Cook went on to make a century, and England won that match by 10 wickets.

Two overs later, Ashwin was denied Warner's scalp again, with a ball that turned and dipped. Warner drove at it, dragging his foot out of his crease, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni was undone by the bounce and failed to remove the bails.

Warner had 27 at the time.

Nonetheless, in the 15th over, Cowan (29) was undone by Ashwin as he attempted to hit him out of the ground. Dhoni made amends when he collected this delivery in front of his chest to complete the stumping.

Phil Hughes fell shortly thereafter, playing a short, turning ball from Ashwin onto his stumps for six.

INDIA: V Sehwag, M Vijay, CA Pujara, SR Tendulkar, V Kohli, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, B Kumar, I Sharma

AUSTRALIA: DA Warner, EJM Cowan, PJ Hughes, SR Watson, MJ Clarke (capt), MS Wade (wk), MC Henriques, PM Siddle, MA Starc, JL Pattinson, NM Lyon

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