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Pujara hits 130 as India pushes on in third Test
RANCHI, India---Cheteshwar Pu-
jara hit an unbeaten 130 yester-
day as India reached 360-6 at
stumps on day three of the evenly
balanced third Test against Aus-
tralia. With four first-innings
wickets left, India trails Aus-
tralia by 91 runs.
Wriddhiman Saha was 18 not out
after adding 32 runs with Pujara for
the seventh wicket at Ranchi's JSCA
International Stadium Complex.
After tea, Australia choked the
runs at Pujara's end and applied
pressure at the other in order to
sneak some wickets.
The tactic worked. Only 23 runs
came in 14 overs in the hour after
the break, with the loss of Karun
Nair (23). Josh Hazlewood (1-66)
bowled him with a delivery that
darted in through the gap between
bat and pad.
The ploy continued as only seven
more runs came in the next 30 min-
utes with Pat Cummins (4-59) using
the bounce to good effect once again.
Ravichandran Ashwin (3) con-
tinued his poor run, as the sharp
bouncer kissed his glove and was
caught behind off Cummins in the
Pujara and Saha took India past
350 in the 126th over.
Earlier, Pujara struck his 11th test
hundred but Cummins was the real
star of the second session. He had
Virat Kohli (6) caught at second slip
immediately after taking the second
"Pujara has the game for this. He
takes a lot of pressure and you can
depend on him. It allows you to play
naturally," said Murali Vijay, who
scored 82 and put on 102 for the
second wicket with Pujara.
In what has been an acrimonious
series, there was more controversy
when Glenn Maxwell appeared to
mock Kohli after a tumbling fielding
effort at the boundary.
It was similar to the effort put in by
Kohli on day one, which injured his
right shoulder and kept him out of
the field for much of the Australian
"We are just concentrating on how
the game is proceeding. But the play-
ers are aware of what is happening on
the field," Vijay said. "Whatever they
are doing, we are taking it sporting-
ly. They have a second innings to go
as well, so we hope they will take it
sportingly then as well."
Cummins also broke the 51-run
dangerous partnership for the fourth
wicket between Pujara and Ajinkya
"Last night he bowled particularly
well and backed that up today. He
produced some great balls to get
wickets today," said Australian as-
sistant coach David Saker.
In the morning session, Vijay
scored his 15th test half-century
to propel India from an overnight
120-1. He was out stumped off Steve
O'Keefe (1-117) in the last over be-
"The game is evenly poised," Vi-
jay said. "We will try to get closer
to their total and attempt to extend
(the) lead from there. We have a good
game in hand."
Australia scored 451 in its first in-
nings, thanks to Steve Smith's 178
and Glenn Maxwell's 104. Ravindra
Jadeja picked up 5-124.
The four-match series is level at
1-1. Australia won the first test at
Pune by 333 runs, and India leveled
with a 75-run win in Bangalore. (AP)
Maharaj bowls Proteas to 8-wicket win
WELLINGTON, New Zealand---
Spinner Keshav Maharaj took a
career-best 6-40 and match fig-
ures of 8-87 to bowl South Africa
to an eight-wicket win over New
Zealand in the second cricket Test
yesterday and a 1-0 lead in the
three match series.
In a rapid and stunning end to
the match on day three, South Af-
rica was left only 81 runs to win
after New Zealand was dismissed
for 171 in its second innings off 63.2
overs. Claiming the extra half hour
available at the end of the day, South
Africa reached its target in 25 overs
with Hashim Amla 38 not out and JP
Duminy unbeaten on 15.
Veteran paceman Morne Morkel
took the first three wickets to fall as
New Zealand began 91 runs behind
the Proteas on the first innings Sat-
urday. Maharaj then ran through the
lower and middle order to limit New
Zealand to a lead of only 80 runs.
In an unprecedented performance
at the Basin Reserve, which has al-
ways been the New Zealand pitch
most conducive to fast bowling, the
South African spinners---Maharaj
and JP Duminy---took 12-138 to push
their team to a victory which will
likely decide the three match series.
The third and final Test begins in
Hamilton on Saturday.
Morkel matched his best test score
of 40 and shared a valuable 57-run
last-wicket partnership with Vernon
Philander (37 not) as South Africa,
who began the day 349-9, ended
their first innings early on Saturday
at 359 in reply to New Zealand's 268.
Morkel's venemous opening spell,
helped by the stiff breeze at his back,
quickly destroyed any chance New
Zealand might have had of winning
the match and moving towards its
first-ever test series win over South
Morkel dismissed Tom Latham
(6), captain Kane Williamson (1) and
Neil Broom (20) to leave New Zealand
64-3, still trailing South Africa by 37
runs but with the heart of its depleted
batting lineup exposed.
Opener Jeet Raval made a valiant,
sometimes painful and largely un-
supported effort to revive the New
Zealand innings, batting almost four
hours for his highest test score of 80.
Raval has been past 50 in tests
three times without going on to a
His previous best was 56 but his
average of 36 attests to his consist-
He made a lone effort to stand
against the South African bowlers
on Saturday, first Morkel, then Ma-
haraj who took such a toll among his
Raval also faced a searching test
from young fast bowler Kagiso Ra-
bada, who peppered him with short-
pitched deliveries in a fiery spell
during which he hit the right-hand-
er repeatedly on the fingertips.
Raval endured that ordeal in his
effort to keep New Zealand's innings
alive but had little support.
The next best was wicketkeeper
BJ Watling, who batted 2-1/4 hours
for 29 and put on 65 with Raval for
the sixth wicket.
Both Raval and Watling were out
during a period late in the afternoon
in which Maharaj wove a spell over
the New Zealand batsman.
Maharaj dismissed first innings
century-maker Henry Nicholls (7)
and James Neesham (4) in the same
over, then claimed the wickets of
Colin de Grandhomme, Raval, Wat-
ling and Tim Southee to wrap up the
De Grandhomme's wicket was his
piece de resistance---a ball which
pitched on leg stump to the right
hander, turned and struck off stump.
Raval's stubborn, four-hour re-
sistance ended when he chased a ball
wide of off stump and was stumped
by Quinton de Kock, who also took
three superb catches.
New Zealand was then 155-6 and
Maharaj brought about the speedy
end of the innings, helping South
Africa secure the last four wickets
for 16 runs.
South Africa lost openers Stephen
Cook (11) and Dean Elgar (17) before
its winning target was achieved but
its win was still emphatic and New
Zealand seems to have no way back
into the series with one test remain-
South Africa's Stephen Cook opens his team's second innings against New
Zealand during the second cricket test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington,
New Zealand, yesterday. AP PHOTO
India's Cheteshwar Pujara watches his shot during the third day of the third
test cricket match against Australia in Ranchi, India, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Australia 1st Innings: 451
India 1st Innings
Lokesh Rahul c Wade b Cummins
Murali Vijay st Wade b O'Keefe 82
Cheteshwar Pujara not out 130
Virat Kohli c Smith b Cummins 6
Ajinkya Rahane c Wade b Cum-
Karun Nair b Hazlewood 23
Ravichandran Ashwin c Wade b
Wriddhiman Saha not out 18
Extras: (14b, 3lb)
TOTAL: (for 6 wickets) 360
Overs: 130. Minutes: 538.
Still to bat: Ravindra Jadeja,
Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
Fall of wickets: 1-91, 2-193,
3-225, 4-276, 5-320, 6-328.
Bowling: Josh Hazlewood 31-9-
Pat Cummins 25-8-59-4,
Steve O?Keefe 43-11-117-1,
Nathan Lyon 29-2-97-0,
Glenn Maxwell 2-0-4-0.
Toss: Won by Australia.
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney, New Zea-
land, and Ian Gould, England.
TV umpire: Nigel Llong, England.
Match Referee: Richie Richardson,
New Zealand, 1st Innings 268
(Henry Nicholls 118, Jeet Raval 36,
B.J. Watling 34; J.P. Duminy 4-47,
Keshav Maharaj 2-47, Ragiso Raba-
da 2-59, Morne Morkel 2-82).
South Africa, 1st Innings 359 (
Quinton de Kock 91, Temba Bavuma
89, Morne Morkel 40, Vernon Phi-
lander 37 not out; Colin de Grand-
homme 3-52, Neil Wagner 3-102,
Tim Southee 2-98).
New Zealand, 2nd Innings 171 (
Jeet Raval 80, B.J. Watling 29; Ke-
shav Maharaj 6-40, Morne Morkel
South Africa, 2nd Innings 83-2
(Hashim Amla 38 not out).
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