In­dia in strong po­si­tion af­ter three days of first Test

Hamil­ton un­well but will at­tend FIA awards cer­e­mony

The Star Malaysia - - Sport -

ADE­LAIDE: First-in­nings cen­tury maker Chetesh­war Pu­jara again blunted Aus­tralia’s at­tack to put In­dia in a strong po­si­tion af­ter a rain-in­ter­rupted third day of the first Test.

In­dia reached stumps at 151 for three in its se­cond in­nings, an over­all lead of 166 runs.

Pu­jara was 40 not out and Ajinkya Ra­hane un­beaten on one run.

Pu­jara shared a 71-run third-wicket part­ner­ship with cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli.

They threat­ened to bat through the ses­sion be­fore Kohli prodded to short-leg from the bowl­ing of spin­ner Nathan Lyon.

Kohli made 34 from 104 de­liv­er­ies but fell to Lyon for the sixth time in his Test ca­reer.

Kohli re­ceived a hos­tile re­cep­tion from the Ade­laide Oval crowd on his way to the crease and he was watch­ful against prob­ing Aus­tralian bowl­ing.

With foot­marks to aim at, Lyon was the main threat but Pu­jara suc­cess­fully re­viewed de­ci­sions twice from his bowl­ing.

In­dia’s se­cond in­nings was de­layed due to rain in­ter­rup­tions ei­ther side of lunch.

Open­ers Mu­rali Vi­jay and K.L. Rahul pro­duced a 63-run part­ner­ship, their high­est out­side of In­dia.

Vi­jay fell to Mitchell Starc for 18 and Rahul (44 off 67 balls) was dis­missed just be­fore tea by Josh Ha­zle­wood.

The out-of-form Rahul only scored one run off his first 25 de­liv­er­ies.

Af­ter see­ing off Starc, he opened up and counter-at­tacked Pat Cum­mins, hit­ting a cover drive for six.

In­dia had a first-in­nings lead of 15 runs af­ter bowl­ing out Aus­tralia for 235.

Af­ter swel­ter­ing con­di­tions dur­ing the open­ing two days, only 10.4 overs were bowled in the first ses­sion.

Travis Head top-scored for Aus­tralia with 72 and equaled his high­est Test score.

He re­ceived in­valu­able sup­port from Lyon, who hit an un­beaten 24 from 28 balls.

In­dia’s four-pronged at­tack shared the wick­ets with pace­man Jasprit Bum­rah and spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win pick­ing up three apiece. Aus­tralia re­sumed day three at 191 for seven but it was Lyon who stole the show af­ter the early wicket of Starc.

Lyon dom­i­nated the strike in his part­ner­ship with Head and counter-at­tacked with a six off a hook shot from Mo­hammed Shami’s first de­liv­ery.

Two balls later, Head played away from his body to be caught be­hind and Ha­zle­wood fell first ball, leav­ing Shami on a hat­trick when Aus­tralia bat in their se­cond in­nings.

A crowd of 30,348 braved the in­clement con­di­tions to record the se­cond high­est at­ten­dance for a day’s play be­tween the teams in Ade­laide.

Six­teen overs were lost on day three af­ter the rain de­lays. ST PETERS­BURG: Five- time For­mula One world cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton (pic) was a no-show at an of­fi­cial news con­fer­ence be­fore he was due to col­lect his tro­phy, with his Mercedes team say­ing he felt un­well.

They said the Bri­ton, who was in St Peters­burg, was at­tend­ing the awards cer­e­mony, how­ever.

“I think maybe he’s not com­ing to the press con­fer­ence be­cause he’s fed up with al­ways the same ques­tions from the same guys,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff when ques­tioned about his driver’s ab­sence.

“No, he’s not well. He’s at­tend­ing the cham­pi­onship cel­e­bra­tions and that’s what mat­ters,” added the Aus­trian.

Fer­rari’s run­ner-up Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and team­mate Kimi Raikko­nen did at­tend.

Wolff said Hamil­ton had barely made a mis­take on track this year but was still look­ing for ways to im­prove and had dis­cussed that on the plane to Rus­sia.

Mercedes are col­lect­ing the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship tro­phy for the fifth year in a row, a feat only pre­vi­ously achieved by Fer­rari.

Un­der F1’s sport­ing reg­u­la­tions, the top three drivers in the cham­pi­onship must at­tend the prize giv­ing cer­e­mony.

Hamil­ton has not hid­den his dis­like of awards cer­e­monies in the past, while me­dia com­mit­ments were also cut back last sea­son.

Af­ter the last race in Abu Dhabi in Novem­ber, Red Bull’s Max Ver­stap­pen joked that fin­ish­ing fourth over­all in the cham­pi­onship at least meant he would not have to at­tend the awards cer­e­mony.

“Lucky you,” replied Hamil­ton, who has won four of the past five cham­pi­onships with Mercedes and fin­ished run­ner-up in the other.

In 2016, his then-world cham­pion team­mate Nico Ros­berg shocked F1 by us­ing the pre-awards news con­fer­ence to an­nounce his re­tire­ment from the sport.

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