LONDON, June 9
Pat Cummins produced a vicious bowling onslaught to leave India battered and bruised as Australia took a 296-run lead on Day 3 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval today.
Australia’s four-man pace attack claimed nine wickets between them to dismiss India for 296 in their first innings, with captain Cummins picking up three scalps.
Australia will resume Day 4 on 123/4 in their second innings with Marnus Labuschagne batting on 41 along with Cameron Green on seven.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane blocked out the drama engulfing his teammates at the other end of the pitch as he top scored for India with 89, while Shardul Thakur survived some painful hits to his arm to contribute 51.
13 Ajinkya Rahane became the 13th Indian cricketer to cross 5,000 runs in Test cricket. The 35-year-old scored 89 to take his tally to 5020 runs
After a dismal showing on Day 2 when India were left hanging on at 151/5 in response to Australia’s first-innings total of 469, the morning session got off to a painful start for the world’s top-ranked team.
Fans were still filing into the ground in their thousands when fast bowler Scott Boland produced a ferocious delivery to dislodge KS Bharat’s stumps with the second ball of the day.
As Bharat departed for five, India trailed the Australians by 317 runs and were left facing a monumental challenge to avoid following on.
Three overs later, Thakur felt the full force of the power being generated by the fast bowlers as he was whacked on his right arm by successive deliveries from Australia captain Cummins, prompting him to drop his bat as he winced in pain.
Thakur also received lifelines while on eight, when he was dropped at gully by Green, and survived an lbw shout on 36 when DRS showed Cummins had bowled a no-ball.
While Thakur lived dangerously, Rahane went about rescuing India’s hopes with his mix of delectable shot selection in the 109-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
He followed up an exquisite four with a belter of a six to bring up his 26th Test 50 as he shouldered the burden of a nation desperate to win their first global ICC trophy in 10 years and avoid suffering back-to-back defeats in WTC finals. While he fell 11 runs short of scoring a century after Cummins had him caught by Green, the 35-year-old did cross 5,000 Test runs during his 129-ball knock which included 11 fours and a six.
Following Rahane’s departure, Thakur steered India past the follow-on target before bringing up his 50 with a sumptuous four. However, soon after he edged a Green delivery straight into the gloves of wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
Rohit Sharma’s side went into freefall following Rahane’s dismissal as Umesh Yadav (5), Thakur (51) and Mohammed Shami (13) were out in quick succession as India lost their last four wickets for 35 runs. — Reuters
Australia 1st innings 469
India 1st innings (overnight 151/5)
A Rahane c Green b Cummins 89
R Jadeja c Smith b Lyon 48
S Bharat b Boland 5
S Thakur c Carey b Green 51
U Yadav b Cummins 5
M Shami c Carey b Starc 13
M Siraj not out 0
Extras: (b 10, lb 10, nb 8, w 1) 29
Total: (all out, 69.4 overs) 296
FOW: 1-30, 2-30, 3-50, 4-71, 5-142, 6-152, 7-261, 8-271, 9-294
Bowling O M R W
Mitchell Starc 13.4 0 71 2
Pat Cummins 20 2 83 3
Scott Boland 20 6 59 2
Cameron Green 12 1 44 2
Nathan Lyon 4 0 19 1
Australia 2nd innings
U Khawaja c Bharat b Yadav 13
D Warner c Bharat b Siraj 1
M Labuschagne not out 41
S Smith c Thakur b Jadeja 34
T Head c & b Jadeja 18
C Green not out 7
Extras: (b 4, lb 2, nb 2, w 1) 9
Total: (4 wickets, 44 overs) 123
FOW: 1-2, 2-24, 3-86, 4-111
Bowling O M R W
Mohammed Shami 10 4 17 0
Mohammed Siraj 12 2 41 1
Shardul Thakur 6 1 13 0
Umesh Yadav 7 1 21 1
Ravindra Jadeja 9 3 25 2
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