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Pujara's unbeaten century takes India close to Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara celebrating his century on day three of the Ranchi Test
Cheteshwar Pujara celebrating his century on day three of the Ranchi Test

Australia 451 (Smith 178no) v
India 360-6 (Pujara 130no)
Third Test, Ranchi, day three

Cheteshwar Pujara scored a determined unbeaten knock of 130 as India reached 360 for six in reply to Australia's first innings total of 451 at stumps on day three of the third Test in Ranchi.

India started the day at 120 for one, trailing Australia's first innings total by 331 more runs. In the second over of the day, Murali Vijay (82) stepped up against Steve O'Keefe (1-117) to score the first six of the innings.

However, Australia kept things tight leaving Vijay and Pujara (130 not out) just 13 runs in the first 10 overs of the day. In that period, Vijay also completed his fifty.

The pair brought their 50-run stand in the 54th over.

The boundaries started to come for India in the final 30 minutes of the first session and just as the pair brought the 100-run stand between them, O'Keefe had Vijay stumped in the final delivery before lunch during which India were 192 for one.

Virat Kohli (6) came to bat at his regular position despite a shoulder injury and Pujara looked in control scoring three boundaries to bring another half-century.

However, Kohli had another failure to his name when he edged a Pat Cummins' (4-59) delivery to the second slip. The fast bowler from New South Wales hampered India's progress further, when Ajinkya Rahane (14) edged a wide delivery to the keeper. India were 276 for four at that stage.

As wickets were tumbling at the other end, Pujara brought the first century for an Indian batsman in the series with a boundary in the 94th over. India went into tea at 303 for four with Karun Nair (23) accompanying Pujara.

With Josh Hazlewood (1-66) operating, India were struggling to find runs in the final session and the pressure eventually got the better of Nair, who was castled by the 26-year-old.

Australia capitalised on the opportunity as Cummins produced a snorter to have Ravichandran Ashwin (3) caught behind. Steven Smith used a review to overturn the original decision of not out. India were 328 for six at that stage.

Pujara along with Wridhhiman Saha (18 not out) ensured there no further wickets in the day with their unbeaten 32 run stand to end the day at 360 for six. India now trail Australia by 91 runs with four wickets

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