A fine all round performance from Australia helped them take control at the end of Day 3 of the third test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Resuming at overnight score of 96/2, the pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara added 21 more runs, before the former bottom-edged a Pat Cummins delivery on to his stumps for 22.
Hanuma Vihari’s short stay at the crease ended after he was run out brilliantly by Josh Hazlewood at mid off.
Pujara along with Rishabh Pant added 53 valuable runs for the fifth wicket, before the latter was caught at first slip by Warner off Hazlewood for a breezy 36. The dashing left handed batsman had earlier been struck by a Cummins delivery on the elbow and looked uncomfortable, and Wriddhiman Saha ended up keeping wickets for India later in the day.
Things got from bad to worse as the visitors lost Pujara in the very next over, as he gloved a Cummins ball to wicketkeeper Tim Paine for 50.
R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah also carelessly threw their wickets away via run outs as India’s middle order collapse continued. From 195/4, the visitors stumbled to 244 all out, giving the home side a 94 run lead. Ravi Jadeja remained unbeaten on 28, but he also suffered an injury, with a rising delivery striking him on the thumb of his bowling hand.
Cummins was Australia’s best bowler with figures of 4/29, while Hazlewood claimed 2 wickets.
The home side in the second innings lost wickets of Will Pucovski and David Warner early to Siraj and Ashwin respectively. However the pair of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith ensured that the visitors did not make any further inroads and shared an unbeaten 68 run stand to take Australia to 103/2 at stumps, with an overall lead of 197.
Labuschagne was on 47, three short of a half century, while Smith was not out on 29.
Stumps Day 3- Australia 338 and 103 for 2 (Labuschagne 47*, Smith 29*) lead India 244 (Gill 50, Pujara 50, Ravi Jadeja 28*) Cummins 4-29, Hazlewood 2-43) by 197 runs