In­dia take stran­gle­hold on first Aus­tralia Test

Vi­rat Kohli reaches an­other mile­stone to score 1,000 Test runs

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

ADE­LAIDE: In­dia built a 166-run lead over Aus­tralia on the third day of an ab­sorb­ing open­ing Test in Ade­laide yes­ter­day with dan­ger­man Chetesh­war Pu­jara not out 40, al­though the late wicket of master bats­man Vi­rat Kohli gave the home team a glim­mer of hope.

At stumps, the vis­i­tors were 151-3, adding to their first in­nings to­tal of 250. Ajinkya Ra­hane was not out one, along­side Pu­jara who scored a gritty first in­nings cen­tury. It was look­ing omi­nous for Aus­tralia with Kohli and Pu­jara com­pil­ing a 71-run third-wicket part­ner­ship, but spin­ner Nathan Lyon got a mas­sive break­through when he snared the In­dian skip­per for 34 near the close of play.

“I think it’s slightly in our favour,” said In­dian pace­man Jasprit Bum­rah. “The late wicket was a good thing for them and the first ses­sion to­mor­row will be very im­por­tant. If we cap­i­talise on that it will leave us in a very good place in this match.”

He added that Pu­jara was key. “He’s showed a lot of pa­tience and that is the key el­e­ment in Test cricket. A great knock and hope­fully he con­tin­ues to­mor­row.” Aus­tralia were dis­missed for 235 just be­fore lunch, with Travis Head top scor­ing on 72 on a day hit by rain de­lays, leav­ing them 15 runs adrift.

Bat­ting in front of his home crowd, Head said he was dis­ap­pointed to not add more runs but be­lieved the game was “evenly poised”. “It’ll be a big first hour to­mor­row, if we can get a cou­ple of wick­ets and put them un­der pres­sure. I think the bowlers did a won­der­ful job to con­tain and con­tinue to put pres­sure on them tonight.”

In­dia got off to a solid start, with KL Rahul and Mu­rali Vi­jay en­joy­ing a 63-run part­ner­ship. Both failed to fire in the first in­nings and are bat­tling for one opener’s spot once the in­jured Prithvi Shaw is fit again.

On a dif­fi­cult bat­ting track, Josh Ha­zle­wood bowled four straight maid­ens to keep them con­tained be­fore they be­gan find­ing their range. Rahul hit a big six off Pat Cum­mins as the pair grew in con­fi­dence and they were rac­ing along be­fore Mitchell Starc en­ticed Vi­jay into nick­ing an at­tempted drive to Peter Hand­scomb in the slips and he was out for 18.

Rahul played some au­da­cious strokes be­fore a loose shot to a Josh Ha­zle­wood ball found a big edge and he was caught be­hind for 44 by Tim Paine.

The un­flap­pable Pu­jara cru­cially sur­vived two de­ci­sions by the um­pire giv­ing him out, with both re­versed on re­view in a cruel blow to Aus­tralia. In the first, he was ini­tially dis­missed caught be­hind off Lyon on eight, and in the sec­ond was ad­judged out lbw, also to Lyon, on 17.

The pro­lific Kohli, who emerged to boos from a sec­tion of the crowd, shunned his trade­mark flam­boy­ance to grind out runs be­fore jab­bing at a short ball from Lyon and Aaron Finch took an easy catch.

On the way, he reached an­other mile­stone, join­ing a se­lect few In­di­ans-in­clud­ing Sachin Ten­dulkar and Rahul Dravid-to score 1,000 Test runs in Aus­tralia. Ear­lier, Aus­tralia added just 44 runs to their overnight 191-7 with Head’s dis­missal sig­nalling a quick end, with the fi­nal wicket fall­ing next ball.

Af­ter two days of sti­fling hot weather, play be­gan 45 min­utes late in gloomy con­di­tions, with the Ade­laide Oval lights on. It only lasted 3.4 overs be­fore the driz­zle be­gan again and the um­pires called them off af­ter Starc was caught be­hind for 15 by Rishabh Pant, get­ting an edge to a Bum­rah de­liv­ery.

Play re­sumed af­ter an hour with Lyon ac­com­pa­ny­ing Head, who looked on track to bet­ter his pre­vi­ous best Test score against Pak­istan in Oc­to­ber be­fore prod­ding at a Mo­hammed Shami ball.

Ha­zle­wood padded up but was gone for a golden duck, again to the Shami-Pant com­bi­na­tion, leav­ing Lyon un­beaten on 24. For In­dia, Ravichan­dran Ash­win fin­ished with 3-57 and Bum­rah had 3-47. — AFP

ADE­LAIDE: In­dia’s bats­man Chetesh­war Pu­jara (C) bats against Aus­tralia dur­ing day three of the first Test cricket match at the Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day. —AFP

ABU DHABI: New Zealand crick­eters pose with the win­ner’s tro­phy fol­low­ing the third and fi­nal Test cricket match be­tween Pak­istan and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed In­ter­na­tional Cricket Sta­dium in Abu Dhabi on Fri­day. — AFP

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