IN­DIA BACK

New Straits Times - - Sport -

spin­ner Steve O’Keefe who took a wicket each on pitch that still looked good for bat­ting.

Pu­jara, who was in­volved in a 102-run sec­ond-wicket stand with overnight part­ner Mu­rali Vi­jay (82), was hold­ing the in­nings to­gether with his 11th Test cen­tury.

Pu­jara hit 17 bound­aries, in

an oth­er­wise se­date knock, to keep In­dia’s hopes alive of sur­pass­ing Aus­tralia’s first in­nings to­tal of 451.

Pua­jara built cru­cial part­ner­ships with Ajinkya Ra­hane (14) and Karun Nair (23) but the Aus­tralian pace­men rat­tled In­dia’s mid­dle or­der with some in­spired bowl­ing.

Cum­mins, who struck twice in the af­ter­noon ses­sion, got Ra­hane caught be­hind and Ha­zle­wood bowled Nair with a beau­ti­ful re­verse swing­ing de­liv­ery in the fi­nal ses­sion. Aus­tralia skip­per Steve Smith kept up

the pres­sure by ro­tat­ing his bowl­ing options as runs trick­led in for the hosts in the fi­nal two hours of play.

In­dia, whose in­nings run-rate is less than three an over, man­aged to score only 57 runs in the 31 overs bowled in the fi­nal ses­sion and lost two wick­ets.

Ear­lier Kohli, who turned out to bat at his reg­u­lar num­ber four spot lay­ing to rest any in­jury con­cerns, lasted only 23 balls be­fore edg­ing a catch to his op­po­site num­ber Steve Smith at sec­ond slip.

The star bats­man had in­jured his right shoul­der af­ter an awk­ward fall while field­ing dur­ing Aus­tralia’s in­nings on Thurs­day and stayed off the field for 400 min­utes be­fore tak­ing crease.

In the morn­ing ses­sion, Vi­jay hit a gutsy 82 be­fore un­do­ing his hard­work by be­ing stumped off O’Keefe at the stroke of

lunch.

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