Marsh, Handscomb defy Indian attack on fifth day to secure draw
Australia 451 & 204-6 (Handscomb 72no) v
India 603-9 dec (Pujara 202)
Third Test, Ranchi, day five
Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh shared a 124-run stand negating over 60 overs of play on the final day as Australia managed to draw the third Test against India in Ranchi.
The result also means that the series continue to be level at 1-1 and India will have to win the final Test in Dharamsala to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from Australia.
Australia came into day five at 23 for two, trailing India by 129 runs. Tight bowling from India saw Steven Smith (21) and Matt Renshaw (15) score just 25 runs in the first hour of play.
Ishant Sharma (1-30) provided the initial breakthrough for India when he trapped Renshaw LBW in the 29th over and in the next over Ravindra Jadeja (4-54) castled Smith as the Australian captain tried to pad the delivery. Australia were reduced to 63 for four at that stage.
Marsh (53) and Handscomb (72 not out) saw out the remaining overs in the first session by the end of which Australia were placed at 83 for four.
Even though, the Indian bowlers were getting past the edge on numerous occasions, the duo showed great determination to stay out in the middle and also had 31 successive dot deliveries in the second session.
The boundaries started to come as Australia crossed the 100-run mark with Handscomb plundering Ravichandran Ashwin (1-71) for three fours in the 57th over after bringing the 50-run stand with Marsh. Australia went into tea at 149 four four, scoring 66 runs in the session without losing a wicket.
At the start of the third session, India reviewed a LBW decision against Handscomb unsuccessfully and soon Australia managed to claim the lead. Handscomb brought his first fifty of the series with a boundary in the 75th over and India took the second new ball when it was available.
Marsh survived a review from India for LBW and brought his own fifty, needing 189 balls for it as the final hour of play kicked-off in Ranchi. The 124-run stand finally ended when Marsh was caught at short leg to give Jadeja his fourth wicket.
India continued to carry on play seeking a mental gain and they were rewarded with the wicket of Glenn Maxwell (2), who inside edged a delivery from Ashwin to silly mid on and with 12 minutes to go for stumps, Virat Kohli decided to call it off, ending the game in a draw.
Cheteshwar Pujara was awarded the player of the match for his double century in the third innings of the game.
© Cricket World 2017