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Pant steers India to historic series win in Australia

India pulled off a record run-chase in a thrilling final session to hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane’s Gabba ground since 1988 and clinch the four-Test series 2-1 on Tuesday.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant starred with a swashbuckling 89 not out as the injury-depleted visitors overhauled the 328-run target with three overs to go, winning by three wickets.

Australia had not been beaten at the Gabba since falling to Viv Richards’ all-conquering West Indies side by nine wickets in November 1988.

India’s 329 for seven also smashed the 69-year-old record for the biggest run-chase at the Gabba, set by Australia, who scored 236 for seven to beat the West Indies in 1951.

The series win was a remarkable achievement considering India were bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36 to lose the first Test in Adelaide, before bouncing back to win the second in Melbourne.

The visitors, ravaged by injuries and captain Virat Kohli’s absence for paternity leave, then batted throughout the final day to draw the third Test in Sydney.

“It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory but I’m really proud of all the boys,” said India’s interim skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

“They showed character, attitude, especially after the Adelaide Test match. We decided we’re going to fight really hard… and we just wanted to give our best.”

Man-of-the-match Pant, who played a similar innings in the drawn Sydney Test, blasted his 89 from 138 balls with nine fours and a six.

His innings followed an equally impressive knock from 21-year-old Shubman Gill, who made 91 at the top of the order earlier in the day.

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