Bowlers Lead the Charge as India Close in On Win at MCG

Australia eventually found themselves reeling at 99/6 at one point and in danger of losing the game by an innings.

Updated
Cricket
2 min read
R Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne in Melbourne. 
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India got a foot through the door in the Boxing Day Test after they pinned Australia down and reduced them to 133/6 in their second innings at stumps on Day 3 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Australians finished the day ahead of India by two runs with four wickets in hand and the duo of Cameron Green and Pat Cummins in the middle. India were bowled out for 326 earlier on Day 3 as Australia conceded a 131-run lead to the visitors. Australia had also conceded the first innings lead in Adelaide.

Needing to bat well and for long hours, Australia failed to get going in the second innings as well and lost wickets at regular intervals.

The Australians eventually found themselves reeling at 99/6 at one point and in danger of losing the game by an innings.

However, all-rounder Cameron Green and bowler Pat Cummins saw off the last 18 overs without any further casualty, adding 34 runs in the process.

Pace bowler Umesh Yadav removed Joe Burns early before limping off the field following pain in the ankle. He has undergone scans and did not take field after limping off in his fourth over.

Marnus Labuschagne was dismissed with the Australians team total on 42, removed by off-spinner R Ashwin. Then Steve Smith was bowled down the leg, by a Jasprit Bumrah delivery. The Australian batting mainstay had left his leg-stump exposed.

That opened the floodgates as Ravindra Jadeja removed Matthew Wade for 40 and then Tim Paine too for 1 at one end, while Mohammed Siraj joined the party with the scalp of Travis Head for 17.

The Indian bowlers shared the wickets with Jadeja taking two and the others -- Bumrah, Umesh, Mohammed Siraj and Ashwin, taking one each.

Earlier, India were all out for 326 in first innings. Both skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja looked good on resumption.

However, the run out of Rahane (112) led to a flurry of wickets. Both Rahane and Jadeja had added 121 runs for the sixth wicket. India lost the last five wickets for just 32 runs. Jadeja though managed to complete his half-century (57).

For Australia, Mitchell Starc took three wickets for 78 runs, Nathan Lyon ended with three for 72 and Pat Cummins took two for 80.

Brief scores: Australia 195 and 133/6 (M Wade 40, M Labuschagne 28, R Jadeja 2/25) vs India 326 (A Rahane 112, R Jadeja 57, S Gill 45, M Starc 3/78, P Cummins 2/80, N Lyon 3/72).

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