Ranchi: A brilliant 124-run fifth-wicket stand by Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb led Australia to 204/6 in their second innings, averting the chance for India to gain a 2-1 lead in the third out of the four Test match series played at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium here on Monday.
Resuming the fifth and final day at 23/2, Matt Renshaw and Australian captain Steven Smith batted steadily in early overs to stay alive as long as possible and hardly took any risks to score runs. They managed to bat out the first hour of the day before Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets in a space of four balls, putting Aussies on the back foot.
Handscomb and Marsh played extremely sensible Cricket and ended Australia’s second innings at 204/6 in reply to India’s 152 runs lead on the fourth day. India had declared their first innings at 603/9 on the fourth day in response to Australia’s first innings total of 451.
Handscomb faced 200 deliveries and remained unbeaten on 72, while Marsh took 197 deliveries to score 53 runs before falling to an excellent catch by Murali Vijay off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling.
For India, left-arm spinner Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers as he plucked 4 wickets, while Ashwin and pacer Ishant Sharma clinched a wicket each.
Cheteshwar Pujara was named the man of the match for his gritty double century during India’s first inning.