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3rd Test, Day 1: Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne keep Australia steady after India crash to 109 all out

Indore, March 1 (IANS) A steady unbeaten 59-run stand between Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne has taken Australia to 71/1 in 22 overs at tea on day one of third Test against India at the Holkar Stadium on Wednesday.

Australia still trails India by 38 runs after left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann took his maiden five-fer in Test cricket to bowl out the hosts for 109 all out on a pitch offering sharp turn and low bounce to spinners.

Coming out to bat, India had success instantly as Ravindra Jadeja trapped Travis Head lbw in his first over, with the left-handed batter given out on review. Jadeja had Labuschagne clean bowled for duck, but replays showed it as no-ball.

India’s desperation to get a wicket showed when they lost two reviews in a span of five overs, both against Khawaja. When Ashwin trapped him lbw, India were cautious in taking a review, which later turned out to be a great chance wasted.

Khawaja and Labuschagne played with soft hands and kept their calm to rotate strike and get boundaries through real loose deliveries. India’s bowlers tried too hard, but were unable to get the right line or length to trouble Khawaja and Labuschagne. While Khawaja is unbeaten on 33, Labuschagne was unconquered on 16 as Australia got an upper hand in the second session.

Earlier, Kuhnemann struck post lunch by getting some turn to take the edge of Ashwin’s bat and was snapped by Alex Carey behind in a good low catch. A brace of slog-sweeps followed by a hoicked four from Umesh Yadav took India past 100.

But Kuhnemann got his five-fer by trapping Umesh lbw which stayed low and hit him on the back pad. Mohammed Siraj was late in responding to the second run from an alert Axar Patel and was out by miles for India’s innings to wrap up just after lunch.

Brief Scores: India 109 all out in 33.3 overs (Virat Kohli 22, Shubman Gill 21; Matthew Kuhnemann 5/16, Nathan Lyon 3/35) lead Australia 71/1 in 22 overs (Usman Khawaja 33 not out, Marnus Labuschagne 16 not out; Ravindra Jadeja 1/28) by 38 runs



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