Australia survived an early scare on day five and fought back well to draw the third Test match against India in Ranchi. Catch all the day five highlights of the third Test here.
Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb ensured the Aussies batted till the last ball of the final session and then have a crack in the series decider at Dharamsala.
Marsh was sent back to the pavilion by Ravindra Jadeja at 53. But his 124-run partnership with Handscomb (72*) kept the Indian bowlers at bay as Australia ended at 2014/6 leading by 52 runs.
For India, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/54 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Ishant Sharma picked a wicket each.
Marsh was eventually dismissed by India’s bowling star Ravindra Jadeja, who continued his purple patch to finish with figures of 4/54.
Handscomb, on the other hand, played the anchorman role to perfection and remained unbeaten after holding the fort for 200 deliveries.
The Indian bowlers, especially pacer Ishant Sharma (1/30), looked menacing in the pre-lunch session but the Aussies managed to hold their ground in the last two sessions.
With today’s result, the series remained locked at 1-1 setting up a mouth-watering finale in Dharamsala, starting March 25. The hill town would be hosting its maiden Test match.
The simmering tensions between the two sides have only added to the drama with today being no exception.
There was animated chatter between Renshaw and Ishant in the latest round of verbal altercations before the Indian pacer had the last laugh by trapping the opener LBW.
Having turned the tide yesterday, riding on Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha’s marathon partnership, India were in contention for an unassailable lead in the series.
However, Handscomb and Marsh absorbed the pressure with their calculated knocks to deny the hosts, who apart from the sizeable crowd, were also cheered on by former captain and local favourite Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was a major disappointment for the home team. He managed just one wicket in the second innings to go with his solo scalp in the first essay.
Also read: LIVE Cricket Score India Vs Australia 2017, 3rd Test Day 5: Jadeja breaks stand, removes Shaun Marsh
Earlier in the day, Australia fought back in the second session to cut down the deficit to three runs and not lose a wicket as they posted 149/4 at tea on the fifth day of the third cricket Test match on Monday.
On the fourth day on Sunday, batsmen Matt Renshaw (15) and Steve Smith (21) started the day in good vein, trying to bat for as long as possible, taking occasional scoring opportunities but not taking any risks whatsoever.
But Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja struck in the space of four deliveries to send both the batsmen back to the pavilion with the Aussies tottering at 83/4 at lunch.
Also read: India Vs Australia 2017 LIVE Streaming: Watch India Vs Australia 3rd Test Day 5 Live Match on Hotstar
Marsh and Handscomb refused to panic, combining for a calm and sensible stand of 86 that reduced India’s lead to just three runs and also prevented India from taking a single wicket in the afternoon session.
The second new ball, available 11 overs into the final session, will be India’s last straw.
India’s cause of worry was Ravichandran Ashwin, who looked off colour, giving away 14 runs in an over to Handscomb, which forced skipper Virat Kohli to replace him with Jadeja.
(With agency inputs)