Sport Cricket India dismissed with small first-innings lead
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India dismissed with small first-innings lead

Inda v Australia
India's Ravindra Jadeja raises his bat after scoring fifty runs to turn the tide. Photo: AAP
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Australia has fought back on day three of the fourth Test to restrict India’s first-innings lead after the home side earlier threatened to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

The visitors’ hopes of an early breakthrough were dashed as the tail pushed India to 332 to lead by 32 runs, with a Pat Cummins resurgence late in the session helping Australia to wrap up the tail.

India’s fightback, led by wicketkeeper-batsmen Wriddhiman Saha (31 off 102 balls) and No.8 Ravindra Jadeja (63 off 95) frustrated the Australians and lifting the hosts after a precarious second day.

Australian paceman Cummins opened the third day with typical aggression, edging Jadeja’s bat on his first ball, for what appeared to be an exciting start.

Or so Australia thought.

On review, Jadeja, given out caught behind, was given the green light to remain as it became clear the ball didn’t make contact with the bat.

Jadeja’s flutters continued into the early overs, before a well-placed straight drive broke the yips.

Speedster Josh Hazelwood had some choice words for Jadeja, pounding ball after ball into the lively pitch, making Australia’s frustrations known.

But the pair held firm and continued to play their shots against Australia’s fast bowlers, with their confidence covering the visitors’ in-form spinner Nathan Lyon.

Lyon, who finished with 4-21 at stumps on day two, bled runs in the opening session, as Saha took advantage of anything short.

Jadeja, known for his bowling more so than his batting, showed a cool head with good defence, and even better hitting across his pads, clipping Lyon for a half-century.

His celebration didn’t go unnoticed either, swinging his bat in a sword-like fashion.

Captain Steve Smith, desperate for a wicket, handed Glenn Maxwell the ball for the first time this Test, but the Big Show couldn’t break Australia’s wicket drought.

The partnership solidified India’s position, but Cummins shattered the combination, rattling Jadeja’s stumps after an inside edge.

Cummins got his reward for a lot of toil in the opening session, but it was a key hand from Jadeja nonetheless.

The much-needed breakthrough brought the true tail to the crease, with Australia claiming a second soon after.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked shaky, and with a loose drive and a sharp catch from Smith, Steve O’Keefe claimed his scalp in his first over of the day.

Lyon held the ball aloft to end the innings, dismissing Kuldeep Yadav for seven in the 118th over, to finish with a five-wicket haul.

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