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Sydney Test set for a close finish as India needs 309 runs on last day


Rohit Sharma scored a fifty as India, needing 407 runs to win, ended Day 4 of the third Test against Australia at 98 for the loss of two wickets in Sydney on Sunday.

After Australia declared their second innings at 312/6, India needed a strong start and Rohit and Shubman Gill did just that.

The pair cashed in on every scoring opportunity and like in the first innings, put up a fifty-plus stand. However, Australia managed to break the 71-run partnership after Josh Hazlewood dismissed Shubman Gill for 31.

Rohit though went on to complete a fine half-century as India moved past 90. But, the right-hander got out for 52 off Pat Cummins.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane though negotiated the last few overs as India ended Day 4 at 98/2, needing 309 runs to win on the last day of the Test.

Australian innings

Earlier, India had a chance to dismiss Labuschagne on the second ball of the day. But, Hanuma Vihari could not hold on to the opportunity and the Australian right-hander got a life after the hosts started the day’s play at 103/2.

Labuschagne, who was batting on 47 at the close of play on Day 3, completed his second fifty of the match soon after. The pair continued to keep the scorecard ticking and completed a hundred-run stand in the 46th over as Australia neared 140.

However, Navdeep Saini managed to break the partnership as he dismissed Labuschagne for 73. The right-arm pacer then picked his second wicket of the innings soon after he got Matthew Wade out.

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Smith though continued in the same vein and moved past his second fifty-plus score of the match before Australia moved to 182/4 at lunch.

Smith shifted gears immediately after the resumption of play, hitting 3 fours and a six in the first three overs of the tea session. But Ashwin denied Smith his second hundred of the game, getting him out LBW for 81.

Tim Paine then got a reprieve, and he made the most of the opportunity as he and young Cameron Green added 104 runs together before the young all-rounder got out for 84 and Australia declared at 312/6, setting India 407-run target.

Spectators asked to leave over racial slur

There was a stoppage in play in the second session and some spectators were asked to leave the ground for racially abusing Mohammed Siraj.

Meanwhile, BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted: “Racism has no place in our great sport or in any walk of society. I’ve spoken to @CricketAus and they have ensured strict action against the offenders. @BCCI and Cricket Australia stand together. These acts of discrimination will not be tolerated. @SGanguly99 @ThakurArunS.”

Virat Kohli also raked up the issue on Twitter. He said, “Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable. Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary Iines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour. It’s sad to see this happen on the field.”

Kohli also said, “The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once.”


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