Perth, Dec 16 (IANS) Australia clinched a slight advantage after posting 132/4 in their second innings at stumps on the third day of the second cricket Test against India here on Sunday.
Usman Khawaja and skipper Tim Paine were batting on 41 and eight runs respectively when the umpires decided to call it a day. The hosts now have a 175-run lead against India.
Earlier in the day, India resumed from their overnight score of 172/3 and India skipper Virat Kohli’s classic centurion knock helped the visitors post a total of 283 runs on the board before being bowled out.
Australia had posted 33/0 at tea, with Aaron Finch, who was batting on 25, forced to retire hurt just before the break after being hit on his hand by a Mohammed Shami delivery.
The Indian fast bowlers hit back with four wickets in the final session. Shami ended the day with figures of 2/23 while fellow pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the most successful of the Australian bowlers with figures of 5/67 as India were dismissed a short while after lunch.
The visitors were boosted by a sublime century by skipper Kohli who scored 123 runs off 257 balls with 13 boundaries and a six over third man. It was a crucial knock in difficult circumstances and contained bucket loads of grit and determination as well as pure class.
India had lost Kohli’s fellow overnight batsman Ajinkya Rahane right at the start of the day. Rahane could not add to his overnight score of 51.
But Kohli and the rookie Hanuma Vihari got together to add 50 runs between them before the latter was caught behind off a sublime delivery by Josh Hazlewood.
The visitors suffered a big blow just before lunch when Kohli was caught in the slips off a Pat Cummings delivery.
Rishabh Pant played an entertaining, hard hitting knock of 36 before his dismissal virtually ended the visitors’ fight with the bat.
The Indian tailenders could not do much with the Australian bowlers dominating the show on a pitch which was giving them plenty of assistance.
Australia: 326 and 132/4 (Usman Khawaja 41 batting, Aaron Finch 25; Mohammed Shami 2/23) vs India (First innings): 283 (Virat Kohli 123, Ajinkya Rahane 51; Nathan Lyon 5/67)