|Tendulkar hit the winning runs shortly after reaching his half-century as India clinched the series in Bangalore [AFP]|
India cruised to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the second Test to sweep their two-match series 2-0 in Bangalore.
Debutant Cheteshwar Pujara cracked 72 as the hosts chased down a target of 207 runs, the highest successful run chase at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Sachin Tendulkar made his fifty before hitting the winning runs soon after tea on Wednesday.
Earlier, Zaheer Khan and fellow new-ball bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth took less than an hour to polish off the Australian tail after the tourists had resumed on 202 for seven wickets.
The last three Australian batsmen could add only 21 runs to their overnight score before their second innings folded on 223.
The winning runs came just before the International Cricket Council (ICC) said they had not found any “compelling evidence” of corruption against players or support staff in the September 17 one-day match between England and Pakistan at The Oval.
|Day five scorecard|
Australia first innings 478
Australia second innings (o/n 202-7)
S Watson lbw b Ojha 32
India second innings:
M Vijay lbw b Watson 37
The ICC said on Wednesday the investigation was complete for now but if new and corroborating evidence came to light, its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) would re-open the case.
Allegations about the match came after Pakistan captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were suspended following allegations of spot-fixing in an earlier Test match at Lord’s.
India’s back-to-back wins not only prolonged Australia captain Ricky Ponting’s wait for his first Test victory in the country but also pushed the tourists down to fifth place, behind England, in the ICC rankings.
“We have played reasonably good Test cricket but we were outplayed,” Ponting said during the presentation ceremony.
“I think (Ben) Hilfenhaus and (Mitchell) Johnson have done well and Shane Watson too has been good at the top.
“Others were a bit inconsistent. I hope we learn from our mistakes.”
Dhoni said his bowling attack had made a big difference both in Bangalore and the first match, in Mohali.
“The bowlers did a real good job. The bowling department really stepped up in both the games,” said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India lost Virender Sehwag early on but Pujara’s 72-run stand with opener Murali Vijay brought India’s chase back on track and Tendulkar completed the formality of victory in the company of Rahul Dravid.
“This series was a fantastic one,” said man-of-the-match Tendulkar, who made a double-century in the first innings and surpassed 14,000 career Test runs.
“I would like to congratulate the whole team, starting from (VVS) Laxman who helped us win, along with Ishant Sharma.”