India script turnaround to sense dramatic victory on final day
Australia 451 & 23-2 (Jadeja 2-6) v
India 603-9 dec (Pujara 202)
Third Test, Ranchi, day four
India made an incredible comeback riding on a double century from Cheteshwar Pujara to post 603 for nine in their first innings and managed to restrict Australia to 23 for two at stumps on day four.
Earlier, Wriddhiman Saha also slammed another century as he added a marathon 199-run stand with Pujara while Ravindra Jadeja scored a breezy fifty following which he picked the wickets of David Warner and Nathan Lyon to leave Australia in a spot of bother.
Following India's decision to declare the innings at 603 for nine, having secured a lead of 152 runs, Australia had eight overs to face at the end of the day.
Warner (14) started their second innings positively with a couple of boundaries in the first over but with Jadeja (2-6) bowling in the rough, the Australian vice-captain lost his stumps in the sixth over.
Australia opted to send nightwatchman Lyon (2), who managed just seven deliveries at crease and was castled by Jadeja as well to leave the visitors reeling at 24 for two. They ended day four trailing India by 129 runs with eight wickets in hand.
However, it was the Indian batting that grabbed the limelight as they started the day at 360 for six, trailing Australia by 91 runs.
In the second over of the day, Pat Cummins (4-106) had Saha (117) LBW but the decision was overturned following a review from the wicket-keeper batsman. Both Saha and Pujara completed a 50-run stand in the 137th over.
On a gloomy day, the play continued under floodlights. In the 140th over, umpire Chris Gaffaney was seen raising his finger to a mild appeal from Australia for a caught behind decision but changed his mind.
The runs were coming at a very slow rate and Pujara recorded his fifth score of 150+. Saha had a reprieve when Wade deflected an edge and he soon completed his fifty with a six followed by a single.
India were spot on with the review as another LBW decision was overturned. This time Pujara was the batsman. Saha had another reprieve when Wade put him down for the second time. The 100-run stand between the duo came in the 159th over as the hosts were inching close to the Australian total. India went into lunch at 435 for six.
The boundaries were coming freely in the second session as India went past the Australian total of 451. After he faced 496 deliveries, Pujara bettered Rahul Dravid's record for most balls faced by an Indian batsman in Tests.
Australia had another wicketless second session which saw India scoring 68 runs on it and stretching their lead to 52 runs.
The final session saw Saha completing his century and soon Pujara reached his third double century. Lyon (1-163) finally provided the breakthrough for Australia when he had Pujara caught at midwicket and soon Steve O'Keefe (3-199) deceived Saha, who was caught in the covers.
Jadeja (54 not out) continued playing his shots and his 55-ball unbeaten knock had five boundaries and two sixes to take India past the 600-run mark following which the declaration came. During the innings, O'Keefe also held the record for the longest overs bowled for Australia in India.
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