Ahmedabad, March 13 (IANS) Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne stitched an unbeaten 59-run partnership as Australia reached 73/1 in 36 overs at lunch and trail India by 18 runs on day five’s play in the fourth Test at Narendra Modi Stadium on Monday.
With the ball misbehaving a little and keeping spinners interested with something off the rough on the pitch, the result of the game is slowly moving towards a draw till things take a dramatic turn post lunch.
Twenty minutes into the first session, Ravichandran Ashwin had Matthew Kuhnemann lbw with an off-break delivery which went past his forward defence to smash into the front pad. Replays later showed Kuhnemann could have survived if he had taken the review.
With not much in the pitch to create trouble for the batters, Marnus Labuschagne comfortably came down the pitch to hit Ashwin through mid-wicket for four. Travis Head also joined boundary hitting when he cut a short ball from Ravindra Jadeja through off-side.
Labuschagne used his feet again when he lofted Ashwin over mid-wicket for four, followed by Head making use of width from Jadeja to fetch another boundary. Though India got something as the ball began to show some tricks, there was no stopping Head, who danced down the pitch to slam a six off Ashwin straight down the ground.
Head then tore into Axar Patel, taking back-to-back boundaries off him – a straight drive was followed by a punch leading to an edge past the slip fielder. He and Labuschagne played out the remaining overs in the session comfortably to ensure Australia didn’t suffer any more damage.
Brief Scores: Australia 480 in 167.2 overs and 73/1 in 36 overs (Travis Head 45 not out, Marnus Labuschagne 22 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 1/24) trail India 571 in 178.5 overs by 18 runs