Ranchi: Opening batsman Murali Vijay threw his wicket away at the fag end of morning session in an otherwise dominating show by the Indians who reached 193 for 2 at lunch on the third day of the third cricket Test against Australia here today.
Vijay, who looked well set for a century in his 50th Test after making a comeback from a shoulder injury, unnecessarily jumped out of his crease in the final over of the morning bowled by Steve O’Keefe and got out for 82.
He was otherwise batting patiently in his 183-ball innings which was studded with 10 fours and a six.
The ball sneaked between Vijay’s pad and bat as the expected turn did not happen. Matthew Wade did well to collect the ball down the leg side and effected an easy stumping.
The lunch was called immediately. Cheteshwar Pujara was the not out batsman on 40. India, who resumed the day on 120 for 1, now trail Australia by 258 runs with eight first innings wickets in hand.
The home side batted with grit and gumption in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 451. It was a session dominated by the Indians except for the wicket of Vijay who had stitched 120 runs with Pujara for the second wicket before his sudden rush of blood leading to his downfall.
This was Vijay and Pujara’s sixth century-plus partnerships in 10 Tests this home season as they built a solid platform and it looked as if India would keep their wickets intact in the first session.
But in the fourth ball of the last over before lunch, Vijay stepped out to hit Steve O’Keefe over the line only to be stumped as the Australians finally got the breakthrough in the left-arm spinner’s second spell.
Having exhausted the quota of two referrals per 80 overs, Australia were clearly done in by DRS and they were left frustrated as India made merry under the sun on the fast and hard outfield of JSCA Stadium hosting its maiden Test.
The Australians began with Josh Hazlewood and the left-arm spin of O’Keefe from the pavillion end and Vijay stepped out to loft the latter over long on effortlessly in his first over.
Vijay notched up his 15th Test half century in his 50th Test with a single through cover region in the 129th ball he faced. He was solid in his defence, but at the same time he was not afraid of stepping out to loose deliveries.
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