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India win series from Australia 2-1 after 8-wicket romp

Associated Press logo Associated Press 28/03/2017 By CHETAN NARULA, Associated Press
India's captain Virat Kohli, center gestures as the team poses with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning the test cricket series against Australia in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. India won the four-match series 2-1. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) © The Associated Press India's captain Virat Kohli, center gestures as the team poses with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning the test cricket series against Australia in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. India won the four-match series 2-1. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

DHARAMSALA, India — The inevitable end came quickly as India took the test cricket series from Australia 2-1 by romping to an eight-wicket win with a day to spare in the fourth test on Tuesday.

Starting the chase for a winning 106, from 19 without loss overnight, India needed only 18 more overs to reach 106-2 on the fourth morning.

Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane shared an unbeaten 60 off 59 balls after Murali Vijay was caught behind and Cheteshwar Pujara was run out in a mix-up with Rahul.

India's seventh test series win in a row dated to a 2-1 win in Sri Lanka in 2015. At home this season, the Indians have also beaten New Zealand 3-0, England 4-0, and Bangladesh in a one-off test.

The Indians are unbeaten in their last eight test series, and remain No. 1 in the test rankings.

"If you don't have a team performance you cannot be the No. 1 team in the world," captain Virat Kohli said.

"We had different aspects - lower-order contributions, outstanding spinners, brilliant fast bowlers, and the batsmen have stepped up on many occasions."

The match was competitive until Monday, when Australia was all out for 137 in its second innings. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin each took three wickets. Jaedja finished as leading wicket-taker in the series with 25. Ashwin was second on 21.

"We have fought very hard throughout this series and to fall over at the final hurdle hurts, the boys are hurting," Australia captain Steve Smith said.

"We've certainly had our opportunities to win and we haven't taken those opportunities. (India) get back in the game and make you pay."

Australia won the first test in Pune by 333 runs, India won the second in Bengaluru by 75 runs, and the third test in Pune was drawn.

Vijay departed in the eighth over of the morning, caught behind on 8 off Pat Cummins. Five balls later, Pujara was run out for a duck.

Rahul finished 51 not out, hitting nine fours in his six half-century of the series. Rahane made 38 off 27 balls. Standing in as skipper because Kohli had a shoulder injury, Rahane hit two sixes and four boundaries.

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