PU­JARA, SAHA THE HE­ROES

Duo hit centuries to put In­dia on top in third Test against Aus­tralia

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CHETESH­WAR Pu­jara scored a pa­tient dou­ble hun­dred as he and fel­low cen­tu­rion Wrid­dhi­man Saha put In­dia in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion against Aus­tralia in the third Test at Ranchi yes­ter­day.

After declar­ing their first in­nings on 603 for nine late in the fi­nal ses­sion on day four, the hosts rat­tled Aus­tralia with two strikes in­clud­ing the big wicket of David Warner (14).

Ravin­dra Jadeja dis­posed of both Warner and night­watch­man Nathan Lyon (2) in an ab­sorb­ing fi­nal ses­sion of play.

The tourists, 152 be­hind on the first in­nings, ended the day on 23-2.

Be­fore bam­boo­zling the Aus­tralian bats­men with his left-arm spin, Jadeja also de­liv­ered an un­beaten 54.

But the day be­longed to Pu­jara (202) and Saha (117), who put on 199 for the sev­enth wicket to frus­trate an Aus­tralian bowl­ing at­tack that failed to take a wicket in the first two ses­sions.

While Pu­jara recorded his third Test dou­ble-cen­tury in his 47th match, Saha posted a ca­reer-best Test knock to take In­dia way past Aus­tralia’s first in­nings score of 451.

Pu­jara, who re­sumed the day on 130, hit 21 boundaries in an oth­er­wise se­date in­nings which lasted for 525 balls — the long­est in­nings in terms of balls faced by an In­dian Test player.

The 29-year-old — whose top Test score is 206 not out against Eng­land in 2012 — got to his dou­ble cen­tury with a flick to square leg off Nathan Lyon, pump­ing his fist in a rare show of emo­tion as his team­mates cheered from the bal­cony.

But he was out in Lyon’s next over, lob­bing a catch to mid­wicket. He walked back to the pavil­ion to a stand­ing ova­tion and a few hand­shakes from the op­po­si­tion play­ers.

Saha, who hit seven fours and a six, soon fol­lowed his overnight part­ner after fall­ing to left-arm spin­ner Steve O’Keefe.

Jadeja came in at num­ber nine and played a use­ful cameo, put­ting on 54 for the ninth wicket with Umesh Ya­dav (16).

Ear­lier in the day Saha and fast bowler Josh Ha­zle­wood had ex­changed words at the end of an over be­fore um­pire Ian Gould quickly stepped in to cau­tion the play­ers.

Pat Cum­mins claimed four wick­ets while left-arm spin­ner O’Keefe took three.

The four-match series for the BorderGavaskar Tro­phy is tied 1-1. AFP

REUTERS PIC

In­dia’s Chetesh­war Pu­jara (right) and Wrid­dhi­man Saha run be­tween the wick­ets in the third Test match gainst Aus­tralia in Ranchi, In­dia yes­ter­day.

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