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Defiant Australia take 3rd Test against India to final day, finish Day 4 on 258/8

Australia finished at a score of 258/8 on day four in Melbourne against India following an excellent 61 by Pat Cummins. Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah were the key performers for India, picking 3 and 2 wickets respectively.  

Defiant Australia take 3rd Test against India to final day, finish Day 4 on 258/8
Image Credits: Twitter/@BCCI

Australia finished at a score of 258 for the loss of 8 wickets against India on day four in Melbourne.

The hosts who still need 141 runs to emerge victorious, ended the day's play without being bowled out, largely on the back of an excellent knock by Pat Cummins who scored 61 runs in 103 balls.     

Cummins further enjoyed support from Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon who played gritty knocks at the other end. 

India seemed all set to bowl out their opponents on day four, after restricting them to 176/7 at one stage. Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah were the key players for India, picking 3 and 2 wickets respectively. 

They further enjoyed quality support from Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma with the latter accounting for the key wicket of Travis Head.  

Here are the highlights: 

# Stumps! 

# Australia 258/8 (85 overs)

# Half-century for Pat Cummins who has battled on against the visitors in a stubborn manner to rescue his side!  

# Lyon and Cummins continue to frustrate the Indian bowling attack with the latter close to a half-century. The hosts have struggled to pick the last two wickets. Australia 237/8 (81 overs)

# The umpires believe that a result is possible on the fourth day which is why they have permitted the visitors an extra half an hour of play! Australia 229/8 (77 overs)

# Spinner Nathan Lyon is the next batsman in! 

# Wicket! Mohammed Shami strikes for India, dismissing Mitchell Starc with a swinging delivery which angles in and hits the stumps. Australia 215/8 (70.5 overs)   

# Australia need 203 runs to win the clash with three wickets in hand. Cummins and Starc have gone for their shots in the last few overs despite an all-out attack by the Indian bowlers who are looking to wrap up the clash. Australia 201/7 (67 overs)      

# Mitchell Starc walks down to the crease!   

# Wicket! Ravindra Jadeja has earned India a vital breakthrough, dismissing skipper Tim Paine who nicks the ball to keeper Rishabh Pant. Pant has pulled off an excellent catch with India 3 wickets short of victory. Australia 176/7 (61.3 overs)  

# Skipper Virat Kohli has brought part-timer Hanuma Vihari into the attack with Jasprit Bumrah at the other end in order to put pressure on Paine and Cummins. However, the duo have ensured risk-free gameplay with a solid defence in the last few overs. Australia 176/6 (61 overs)    

# The Indian bowlers have tested Cummins and Paine in the last few overs with some short-pitched deliveries which have left the duo short of room to play freely Australia 162/6 (55 overs)         

# Pat Cummins makes his way down to the middle! 

# Wicket! Ishant Sharma, the most experienced bowler in the attack accounts for Travis Head with a cross-seam delivery. Head attempts to defend but edges the delivery on to the stumps, sparking celebrations. Australia 157/6 (50.3 overs) 

# The pitch is slowly growing difficult to bat on with some uneven bounce which has been exploited by the pace bowling attack in the last few overs. However, Travis Head and Tim Paine have indicated a confident approach with some steady gameplay. Australia 151/5 (46 overs)     

# Play resumes with India five wickets short of victory! 

# Tea-break with 35 overs to go for the end of day's play! 

# Skipper Tim Paine has walked down to the crease! 

# Wicket! Ravindra Jadeja strikes yet again with a flat delivery which Mitchell Marsh smashes directly into the hands of skipper Virat Kohli, leaving India five wickets short of victory. Australia 135/5 (39.1 overs)  

# India will be ruing a missed opportunity to dismiss Travis Head who nicked a delivery from Jadeja to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant who fails to hold on to it. Australia are 265 runs short of victory. Australia 134/4 (39 overs)    

# Australia seemed to be gaining control of the clash following a 50-run partnership between Marsh and Head. However, Bumrah's breakthrough has certainly changed things. Australia 120/4 (34 overs)       

# Shaun Marsh's brother Mitchell Marsh makes his way down to the crease! 

# Wicket! Jasprit Bumrah has earned India a vital breakthrough with a delivery which hits the batsman directly on the pads, trapping Marsh for 44. India are 6 short of victory at this stage. Australia 114/4 (32.2 overs)    

# Play-resumes! 

# Drinks-break! 

# Shaun Marsh and Travis Head have attempted to keep the scoreboard ticking with some shots down the ground but have been extremely uncomfortable against the pace and bounce generated by Jasprit Bumrah. Australia 92/3 (27 overs) 

# Travis Head makes his way down to the middle! 

# Wicket! Mohammad Shami strikes for India with a fast, in-swinging delivery, trapping Khawaja leg-before wicket which leaves the hosts three wickets down. Australia 63/3 (20.6 overs)    

# Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja have attempted to go for their shots in the last few overs after being comparatively defensive in the session before lunch. Australia 63/2 (20 overs)     

# Play resumes!  

# Australia need 355 runs to win! 

# Lunch! 

# Australia 44/2 (14 overs)

# Australia are two wickets down with Khawaja and Marsh struggling to score freely against the bowlers. Mohammed Shami has been brought into the attack by skipper Kohli as India look to pick more wickets. Australia 43/2 (13 overs)  

# Shaun Marsh is the next batsman in for Australia at No 4!  

# Wicket! Jadeja strikes for the visitors with a quick, turning delivery which Harris edges to Agarwal leaving Australia two down. Australia 33/2 (9.2 overs)    

# Bumrah and Sharma have kept the batsmen on the edge of their seats with short, swinging deliveries which have been tough to negotiate, inducing edges. Australia 28/1 (7 overs)  

# Usman Khawaja is the batsman for Australia at No 3! 

# Wicket! Bumrah has dismissed opener Aaron Finch off the second delivery of his bowling spell with a short, swinging delivery inducing a thick edge. Skipper Virat Kohli completes a fine catch. Australia 6/1 (1.2 overs)  

# Australian openers Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris have made their way down to the middle with Ishant Sharma kicking off proceedings for India! 

# Australia need 399 runs for victory! 

# India have declared with a lead of 398 runs on the board! 

# Wicket! Rishabh Pant attempts to go for a big hit but has been dismissed by Pat Cummins off a short delivery which leaves him short of room. India 106/8 (37.3 overs)

# Mohammed Shami is the next batsman for India! 

# Wicket! Cummins is the man  for Australia yet again, deceiving Jadeja with a short pitched delivery which the all-rounder fails to negotiate, handing a catch to Usman Khawaja. India 100/7 (36.3 overs) 

# Pat Cummins has been the man to watch out for, with a five-wicket haul in his kitty. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand have indicated a desire to go for their strokes. India lead by 386 runs! India 94/6 (35 overs)          

# Ravindra Jadeja is the next batsman in! 

# Wicket! Agarwal fails to make it consecutive half-centuries after being bowled by Pat Cummins who can seemingly do no wrong in the clash. Five wickets for Pat Cummins as Jadeja makes his way down to the crease. India 83/6 (32.6 overs) 

# Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant have made their way down to the middle. Can Australia bowl them out early?  

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah had Australia's batsmen tied up in knots with his immaculate line and length, giving India the decisive advantage that withstood a second innings batting collapse in the third cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday.

Called a "genius" on air by Australia's former captain Michael Clarke, Bumrah's career-best figures of six for 33 in 15.5 overs also made him the first bowler from the subcontinent to take a five-for or more in South Africa, England and Australia in the same year.

At the end of day three, India, after bowling out Australia for 151 in response to their first innings total of 443/7 declared, took a 346-run lead. The visitors were struggling at 54/5 in 27 overs in their second essay but had the upper-hand.

Debutant Mayank Agarwal (28 batting), who scored an impressive 76 in the first innings, and Rishabh Pant (6) were at the crease after 15 wickets fell in all on an exciting day.

In their second innings, India were jolted by Pat Cummins (4-10), who took four wickets for two runs in the space of 19 balls, including Virat Kohli (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) caught off successive balls.

Rohit Sharma (five) prevented his hat-trick, but fell before end of play.

This was after Bumrah's outstanding effort handed India a 292-run lead.

Bumrah returned second-best figures for an Indian bowler in Australia after Kapil Dev's 8-106 at Adelaide in 1985. But he surpassed B Chandresekhar's twin hauls of 6-52 in each innings at this ground in 1977.

Post tea, Australia's innings lasted for only four overs as Bumrah quickly cleaned up the worrisome tail. First he got rid of Tim Paine (22) caught behind, and then trapped Nathan Lyon (0) lbw.

Three balls later, he bowled Josh Hazlewood (0) as India took a hefty lead. Kohli though decided not to enforce the follow-on and the Indian mini-collapse followed thereafter.

Cummins bounced out Hanuma Vihari (13) for the second time in this Test, while Cheteshwar Pujara (0) was caught at short square leg for a duck following his hundred in the first innings.

India were reduced to 32-4 with a double break against Kohli and Rahane. Rohit Sharma was caught at slip off Josh Hazlewood (1-13) as India finished five-down but still in control of the game.

Earlier, Australia sunk to 145-7 at tea. Post lunch, it took only four overs for Bumrah to strike again as he bowled Travis Head (20), playing on in the 37th over.

Australia were in dire straits at 92-5 and things didn't improve when Ravindra Jadeja (2-45) struck for a second time against Mitchell Marsh (9). The batsman tried an exaggerated onside flick, but ended up edging to slip as the ball exploded off the pitch.

The hosts managed to cross 100 in the 41st over, but were struggling at 102-6. The next pair then batted with more patience and cut down on attacking strokes for the next hour.

In doing so, Paine and Pat Cummins (17) added 36 runs for the seventh wicket and added some respectability to the total amid the ruins. To India's credit, they never relented the bowling pressure and executed their plans to near perfection.

It could have been different, but Cummins was dropped on 2 by keeper Rishabh Pant off Hanuma Vihari in the 50th over.

Just when it appeared that Australia might avoid another dismissal, Mohammed Shami (1-27) got into the attack and bowled him to give India the advantage again.
The visitors struck four blows in the morning session as Australia were reduced to 89-4 at lunch.

Starting from overnight 8-0, Australia were under the pump early on as Ishant Sharma (1-41) and Bumrah gave them no room for manoeuvring.

It didn't help that the Australian openers came out playing their shots and this attacking instinct went in India's favour.

Ishant struck in the fifth over of the morning as Mayank Agarwal scooped up a sharp catch at short mid-wicket to send back Aaron Finch (8). The fielder was stationed there for any aerial shot and the plan worked to get an early breakthrough.

Four overs later, Marcus Harris (22) went for an uncontrolled pull and found the fine leg fielder as Bumrah celebrated his first wicket of the day.

India used the scoreboard pressure to good effect as Jadeja came on to bowl with close-in fielders all around the bat. Usman Khawaja (21) fell to this ploy, caught at short leg, as Australia slipped further to 53-3 in the 20th over.

Shaun Marsh (19) and Head then added 36 runs for the fourth wicket and brought some semblance of stability to the Australian innings. They used good footwork against Jadeja to smother the possibility of turn from the rough.

But Bumrah came up with an inspirational yorker at the stroke of lunch, and the slow dipping delivery caught Shaun Marsh plumb in front of the wicket, as Australia's top-order was completely blown away on this third morning.

The four-match series is level at 1-1, after India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs and Australia won the second Test in Perth by 146 runs.


India (XI): Virat Kohli (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.

Australia (XI): Tim Paine (capt & wk), Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood.