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3rd Test ends in a draw as Australia seal series against India

Melbourne: Another thrilling and entertaining Day of Test cricket. In the end, both the teams would be happy with the result as the match ended in a draw. Though, for few, the hosts did a couple of tactical mistakes. First, was when they played till lunch in the morning and then their decision to go for a draw when they still have four more overs left. On the other hand, India did fairly well to draw the Test. Once again Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane showed their class and contributed in a big way. But it's high time for Pujara and Dhawan to score big and contribute with the bat in a big way.           

With four overs left, both the teams decided to end the match. So the third Test of the series between India and Australia played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground ended in a Draw. It means Australia have technically seal the series. Now there is one more match left in the four-match series, which is scheduled to start from January 6 at Sydney Cricket Ground.  

SCORECARD

Over 66 || Score 174/6

Lyon is back into the attack. Good thinking by the young Australian skipper. The offie is getting a lot of purchase from the wicket. Can he break this partnership to expose the Indian tail?   

Over 64 || Score 169/6

An hour back when Rahane and Kohli were batting, the pitch was looking so good for batting and now it seems as if it's helping the seamers. Ashwin and Dhoni have done well so far. But Australia still have an outside chance. Six overs left in match.      

Over 62 || Score 161/6

Inside edges and outside edges from Ashwin's bat are making Australian's excited and Indian fans nervous. Eight overs left in the fifth and final Day. Can India play till the end to draw the match or Oz win the thriller? A tough question to answer at the moment. But i can tell you Australian's are all charged up.       

Over 58 || Score 152/6

Nervous moments for Indian cricket fans. In fact, most of the Indian players sitting inside the dressing room must be praying for a draw. Another exciting Test match in the series. Dhoni is counter-attacking to release the pressure. In the 58 over bowled by Harris he collected two boundaries. Australia need just four wickets to seal the deal.        

Over 56 || Score 142/6

A big big blow for India as Ajinkya Rahane walks back to the pavilion. Soft dismissal. Short ball, Rahane goes for a pull, miss-times it completely and gives a simple catch to Marsh at short square leg. Are we witnessing another Indian collapse? R Ashwin is the new man in.  

AM Rahane c Marsh b Hazlewood 48 (199m 117b)    

Over 54 || Score 142/5

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has joined Rahane in the middle. It's time for Dhoni to play sensible cricket and draw the Test. Now it's safe to say that Australia are set to clinch the four-match Test series. But here we have to praise Mumbaikar, Ajinkya Rahane, who drastically changed his approach -- from offensive to defensive. What a player he has been turning out for India, just class apart.         

Over 52 || Score 141/5

Mitchell Johnson strikes as India lost their fifth wicket in the form of Cheteshwar Pujara. It's peach of a delivery, which stuns the batsman and hit the off stump. Is another batting collapse on the cards? You never know when Johnson is on song he can rattle any batting line up in the world.        

Over 49 || Score 138/4

Skipper Steven Smith has come in to bowl some leg-spin. Remember, he entered the Australian national team as a spinner who can bat. And now he is the batting mainstay in the Australian team, who rarely bowls now. Pujara and Rahane are looking rock solid in the middle, but Australian seamers are still bending their backs. 21 overs have left in the match, India still need 246 runs to win the match and keep the series alive, whereas the hosts are six wickets shy to take 3-0 lead in the series.         

Over 43 || Score 121/4

New man in Pujara is doing the right thing -- playing cautiously. Now both the teams are looking on the same page as India too are looking for a draw, after losing their key wicket in the form of Virat Kohli. However, the home team will still love to see another batting collapse from India. With 27 over left in the fifth and final day of the 3rd Test, it seems draw is on the cards.      

Over 37 || Score 105/4

Is the wicket of Kohli open the gates for Australia to rip through the India's batting line up? May be Yes! Because we have seen so many batting collapses in the recent past. Australia are right on top of the match. India still need 279 runs in 33 overs to seal the match and keep the series alive.      

Over 35 || Score 105/4

First ball after Tea and Ryan Harris gives the home side a crucial breakthrough. Virat Kohli Out! Gentle looser by the speedster and Kohli flicks it straight into the hands of Joe Burns, at short square leg. It's certainly a big blow for India. Cheteshwar Pujara walks in after the fall of India's fourth wicket.    

V Kohli c Burns b Harris 54 (99b) 

TEA BREAK 

Over 34 || Score 104/3

Australia have missed a golden opportunity to run Kohli out as Lyon couldn't gathered the ball when the batsman was well short of his crease. Nervous moments for the visitors as both the batsmen are well set now. Meanwhile, India have crossed the hundred-run mark in the 33rd over. 

Over 30 || Score 94/3

India vice-skipper Virat Kohli has completed his half-century in the 30th over by pushing a single off Lyon. He has been in superb form in this series. It's a dream comeback after a slump in form in England. Kohli completed his fifty with the help of four boundaries. Most of his runs have come through cover region, thus far. Rahane is giving him a good company from the other end.         

Over 26 || Score 78/3

In-form Kohli and Rahane are quite positive in their approach. They not missing a single chance to score runs. Collecting boundaries of poor balls and are running hard between the wickets to steal even a single, if available. On the other hand, Smith is using his speedsters well in patches and from the other end offie Nathan Lyon is trying to pitch the ball on the rough patches to get some extra purchase from the wicket. The home team still have an upper hand.          

Over 21 || Score 61/3

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are trying to bail India out, after the tourists lost three wickets early on. Both the batsmen, who have played outstanding knocks in the first innings of the match are once again looking good in the middle. Knowing the fact that batting collapse is not a new thing for India, these two have to play till the very end. India still need 323 runs in 45 overs to seal the match and keep the series alive.            

Over 14 || Score 36/3

While chasing a tricky total of 384 set by the home team, India have lost three quick wickets early on and are on the back-foot. Both the openers -- Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay -- along with Lokesh Rahul are back in the hut as in-form Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are fighting for a draw. Australian seamers -- Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Josh Hazlewood have scalped one wicket each, thus far, as Australia are on the drivers seat at the moment.        

Australia set India the target of 384 to win

Shaun Marsh was run out for 99 ahead of an Australia declaration that set India a record-breaking 384 runs to win the third Test on Tuesday, the final day in Melbourne.

Marsh scampered after a suicidal single off Umesh Yadav only to be caught short of his ground by Virat Kohli`s throw from behind the non-striker`s end.

After a cautious session Marsh went after quick runs and hoisted Ravi Ashwin for a six and a four off successive balls to reach 96 but became edgy on 99 with a lunch-time declaration imminent.

Marsh became the 16th player in Test cricket to be run out on 99 and the third Australian, with all of them occurring in Melbourne. The last Australian was Arthur Morris in 1953.

Soon after Marsh`s dismissal, skipper Steve Smith declared the Australian second innings at 318 for nine. 

Australia added just 57 runs in a dawdling morning session, enlivened only by Marsh`s belated attempt to claim his third Test century and first at home.

With a 2-0 series lead, the home side have only to draw the Melbourne Test to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy ahead of the fourth and final Test in Sydney next week.

India will have to create history with the highest successful run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, eclipsing the 332 achieved by England in 1928.

Teams have struggled to score more than 250 in the fourth innings on the drop-in pitch in recent years, with India all out for 169 (2011) and 161 (2007) in their last two Tests at the ground, both defeats.

The Indians have not won at the MCG for 33 years.

There were two rain delays in the morning session but 70 overs still remained to play after lunch.

It was Marsh`s highest score against India and he was closing in on his third Test century and first home Test ton after knocks of 148 in South Africa and 141 in Sri Lanka.

Ashwin dropped a sharp caught and bowled chance when Marsh was on 86.

Ryan Harris was the other Australian wicket to fall in the morning session, caught behind off Mohammed Shami for 21 and giving M.S. Dhoni his ninth dismissal of the match.

From Zee News

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