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Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Australia crushed by India in series decider

AAP logoAAP 28/03/2017

India's Lokesh Rahul celebrates after winning the match. © REUTERS/Adnan Abidi India's Lokesh Rahul celebrates after winning the match.

Australia's bid for a rare Test series win in India, so full of promise during the past six weeks, was snuffed out when they suffered an eight-wicket belting early on day four of the Dharamsala decider.

Steve Smith's side threatened to complete Australia's second Test series win in India since 1969 after shocking the top-ranked side during the series opener in Pune.

They had control of the second and third Tests early on, lost it, then showed good fight to front up to the fourth and final Test with the series level 1-1.

Australian players attend the award ceremony after loosing the series. © REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI Australian players attend the award ceremony after loosing the series. But Australia's collapses in their first and second innings of the final Test ensured that it all ended not with a bang, but a whimper.

India hauled in the victory target of 106 with ease to complete a 2-1 series win.

Ajinkya Rahane, leading the side in the absence of injured captain Virat Kohli, smacked consecutive sixes off Pat Cummins before KL Rahul stroked the winning runs before lunch on Tuesday.

Both sides turned up to the scenic venue at the foot of the Himalayas on day four knowing Australia required a miracle to make things interesting, let alone genuinely threaten to snatch victory.

India's Virat Kohli (L) and Ajinkya Rahane (R) receive the trophy from the former Indian cricket player Sunil Gavaskar. © REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI India's Virat Kohli (L) and Ajinkya Rahane (R) receive the trophy from the former Indian cricket player Sunil Gavaskar. The top-ranked Test side resumed at 0-19, requiring a further 87 runs to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Fittingly in a series stacked with spats, twists and momentum shifts, the routine run-chase hit a snag during a dramatic 14th over.

Cummins had Murali Vijay caught behind then Glenn Maxwell uprooted middle stump at the non-striker's end, running Cheteshwar Pujara out for a duck.

India required a further 60 runs at that point.

It could well have been a nail-biting finish if the visitors had not suffered collapses of 3-21, 2-5 and 3-1 on the preceding day, but they didn't have anywhere near enough runs to play with.

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