3rd Test: Australia five down in chase of 399 (Tea Report)

Sports

Melbourne, Dec 29  Australia suffered three more casualties, reaching 138/5 in their pursuit of 399 at tea on Day 4 of the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Saturday.

At the break, Travis Head (29 batting) and skipper Tim Paine (1 batting) went back undefeated with the hosts still needing 261 runs.

Resuming the second session at 44/2, the Aussie duo of Usman Khawaja (33) and Shaun Marsh (44) dragged the third-wicket stand to 30 runs before pacer Mohammed Shami struck by trapping Khawaja in front of the wicket.

Fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah sprang into action once again and this time he managed to end the stiff resistance from Shaun, who looked positive during the 51-run fourth-wicket stand with Head.

With already four wickets down for 114, and the off-colour Mitchell Marsh (10) joining Head in the middle, India could sense another wicket coming their way, prompting skipper Virat Kohli to bring back the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Mitchell welcomed Jadeja by depositing him over deep mid-wicket for a massive six and attempted another glory shot on the first ball of the left-armer’s next over only to find Kohli’s safe hands at cover.

From there on, stumper Paine was welcomed by his opposite number Rishabh Pant with some friendly banters but the Australian captain kept his focus and survived the initial jitters.

Earlier, Bumrah and Jadeja struck once each to see off the Aussie openers — Aaron Finch (3) and Marcus Harris (13), respectively to reduce the hosts to 44/2 by lunch after India had declared their second innings at 106/8 after an hour of batting in the first session.

Brief Scores: India 443/7(d) & 106/8(d) (Mayank Agarwal 42, Rishabh Pant 33; Pat Cummins 6/27) vs Australia 151 & 138/5 (Shaun Marsh 44, Usman Khawaja 33, Travis Head 29 batting; Jasprit Bumrah 2/22, Ravindra Jadeja 2/63) at tea on Day 4. – IANS

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