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Third Test: Australia lose early wickets (Lead Lunch)

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Ranchi: Australia posted 109/3 at lunch on the opening day of the third cricket Test against India at the JSCA International Stadium here on Thursday.

For Australia, skipper Steven Smith was batting on 34 with Peter Handscomb on six at the other end when the teams when in at the break.

Fast bowlers Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a wicket each for India.

Electing to bat on winning the toss, the visitors were off to a brisk start with openers Matt Renshaw and David Warner maintaining a scoring rate of around four runs an over in the initial stage.

With both Umesh and Ishant persisting with a leg stump line, the Australian openers were able to find the gap at regular intervals. The Indian pacers did not get too much help from the pitch which was a bit low and slow.

But the introduction of spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin into the attack helped to turn the tide for the hosts.

Jadeja struck the first blow when Warner lobbed a full toss back to the bowler.

That slowed down the scoring rate with Renshaw and Smith managing to score only 30 runs in around 13 overs before the former was dismissed by Umesh.

Renshaw tried to play a delivery which was just outside the offstump line only to see the ball nick the outside edge on its way into the palms of Indian captain Virat Kohli at first slip.

Pujara then pulled off an excellent diving catch off Ashwin’s bowling to send back Shaun Marsh a short while later. The umpire had originally ruled Marsh not out but the Indians decided to call for the review which overturned the decision.

Brief scores:

Australia (First Innings): 109/3 (Matt Renshaw 44, Steven Smith 34 batting) vs India.

IANS

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