London, Jun 10 (IANS): India lost Shubman Gill under debatable circumstances at the stroke of tea on Day Four in a daunting chase of 444 in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against Australia at The Oval on Saturday. At the end of the second session, India reached 41/1 in 7.1 overs with Rohit Sharma looking fluent in his 22 not out.
India were put in to chase after wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey remained unbeaten on 66 as Australia declared their second innings at 270/8 in 84.3 overs, inviting India to break the World Record of 418 for the most successful fourth innings chase in a Test match for winning the coveted Mace.
With the ball not moving much and bounce not troublesome, India made a fast start as Rohit Sharma looked classy with a pull and on-drive off Cummins to pick two quick boundaries. Gill joined the party with a gentle punch through cover and getting a thick edge wide of the gully for a brace of fours.
Rohit's brilliant timing continued when he flicked Scott Boland for four and pulled Mitchell Starc over long-leg for six. But Gill fell when Boland extracted an outside edge off his defensive prod, and the ball flew low to Cameron Green's left, who took out his left hand and took a one-handed screamer, with the third umpire adjudging it as a clean catch and tea taken immediately as fans debated whether the batter was out or not.
Earlier, Carey showed fine composure and middled his shots well to hit eight fours in his unbeaten 105-ball vigil. He found an able ally in Mitchell Starc, who made a nice 41 while sharing a quick 93-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Post lunch, Starc began by driving Jadeja through mid-off for four, followed by feasting on overpitched deliveries from Umesh Yadav to hit back-to-back boundaries. On the other hand, Carey was lucky in getting an outside edge between the first and second slip for four, followed by reaching his fifty in 82 balls.
Carey was lucky in getting a four through an outside edge off Jadeja while Starc dispatched Umesh over mid-on for a boundary. After the new ball was taken, there was no respite for India as Carey survived chopping onto his stumps, with the ball going for four.
Starc pulled and sliced Shami for back-to-back fours before being caught at first slip, ending the 93-run partnership. Pat Cummins lofted Siraj over mid-on for four before holing out to point off Shami, with the declaration coming immediately from Australia.
Australia 469 and 270/8 decl. in 84.3 overs (Alex Carey 66 not out, Mitchell Starc 41; Ravindra Jadeja 3-58, Mohammed Shami 2-39) lead India 296 and 41/1 in 7.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 22 not out; Scott Boland 1-10) by 403 runs