Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur batted brilliantly to stitch a crucial 123-run partnership for the seventh wicket that helped India push its first innings score in the Gabba Test to 336. The duo batted for 36 overs that helped the team reduce the gap with Australia to just 33 runs. Both Sundar and Shardul batted with a lot of resolve, causing more concerns for the hosts.
The day ended with Australia scoring 21 runs in their second innings without losing any wicket. The host team played six overs. David Warner and Marnus Harris opened for Australia. Thus, Australia is leading by 54 runs.
Shardul’s targets Mitchell Starc
The final session of the day’s play saw a frustrated Australian side searching for an inroad to the Sundar-Shardul partnership. In the second over after the Tea break, Shardul hit Mitchell Starc for back-to-back boundaries, one driven though mid-off and the other cut over point.
Maiden half-centuries for Shardul, Sundar
Shardul particulalry looked very comfortable against Starc as he went for another brilliant cover drive on the up off Starc. Soon enough, Shardul stepped out to launch a maximum, thereby bringing up his maiden half-century in Test cricket. He was well supported by Sundar on the other end, who played a perfect cover drive to bring up the century stand.
Later Sundar got to his maiden Test fifty. The duo was going strong until Shardul was bowled by Cummins for 67. Navdeep Saini then walked in and stayed at the crease for 14 deliveries, till Hazlewood got the better of him.
Siraj kept scoreboard running
Siraj walked in and went for a couple of boundaries and kept the scoreboard ticking. Washington Sundar was the next to depart. An excellent catch from Cameron Green in the gully ended Sundar’s stay in the middle.
Natarajan and Siraj batted for a few more deliveries until Hazlewood picked up his fifth scalp of the innings. India 336 all out!
Under an overcast sky, Australian bowlers bowled with a lot of discipline and even used the short ball to good effect. Cheteshwar Pujara was tested with a bouncer and though he did well to survive, India’s dependable No. 3 was dismissed in the same over by Hazlewood.
Australian bowlers were rewarded when captain Ajinkya Rahane nicked one to the third slip off Starc. Although India lost both their experienced batters, they managed to add 99 runs in the first session.
Batting at No. 5 for the first time in the series, Mayank Agarwal came out with positive intent and kept rotating the strike with Rahane. Runs continued to flow for India even after Rahane’s dismissal when Pant arrived in the middle.
However, Mayank got out off the second ball of the second session as he went for an expansive drive but only nicked it to Steve Smith in the slips. India lost their fifth wicket for 161 and lost Pant too in quick succession. The wicket-keeper batsman was looking comfortable, but he ended up guiding the short ball from Hazlewood straight to Green at gully.
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