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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PIX: Battered Australia battle forth as they build lead on Day 3

PIX: Battered Australia battle forth as they build lead on Day 3

Last updated on: December 16, 2018 16:27 IST

IMAGES from Day 3 of the 2nd Test at Perth on Sunday

SCORECARD

Ajinkya Rahane drops a chance off Usman Khawaja at first slip

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane drops a chance off Usman Khawaja at first slip. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia battled through an onslaught from India's fiery fast bowlers on the third day of the second Test, building an ominous 175-run lead with six wickets in hand on a menacing Perth Stadium pitch that is expected to deteriorate further.

 

The hosts reached stumps at 132 for four in their second innings on Sunday with Usman Khawaja 41 not out and captain Tim Paine unbeaten on eight.

Aaron Finch reacts as he gets treatment from Australian Team Physiotherapist David Beakley after being struck on the hand by a delivery from Ishant Sharma

IMAGE: Aaron Finch reacts as he gets treatment from Australian Team Physiotherapist David Beakley after being struck on the hand by a delivery from Ishant Sharma. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia, desperate to level the series after narrowly losing the opener in Adelaide, could be without the services of opener Aaron Finch, who retired hurt on the stroke of tea with a possible fractured right index finger.

Under overcast skies, Australia's batsmen faced torrid bowling from India's fired-up quicks with Finch, who was unbeaten on 25, forced off after being hit by a searing delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Marcus Harris is struck on the helmet by a ball from Jasprit Bumrah 

IMAGE: Marcus Harris is struck on the helmet by a ball from Jasprit Bumrah. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Marcus Harris, Finch's opening partner, had earlier been hit on the helmet attempting to evade a sharp bouncer from paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled superbly in favourable conditions.

A bewildered Harris fell after the tea break clean bowled by Bumrah for 20 after not offering a shot, and locally-bred Shaun Marsh was caught behind for five while rashly attempting a pull shot off Shami.

India's Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates after dismissing Peter Handscomb

IMAGE: India's Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates after dismissing Peter Handscomb. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australia's inexperienced batting-order struggled under pressure with Peter Handscomb making an unconvincing 13 before being trapped leg before after shuffling across his stumps to Ishant Sharma, who bowled without luck initially.

Travis Head was dismissed before the close for 19 after needlessly guiding a wide Shami delivery to deep third man, in a mirror-image of his first innings dismissal.

Khawaja, Australia's most accomplished batsman, survived several nerve-jangling moments to compile his highest score in the series.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Hanuma Vihari 

IMAGE: Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Hanuma Vihari. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia's impulsive batting almost squandered their advantage after bowling out India for 283 to gain a handy first innings lead of 43 runs, despite a brilliant century from India captain Virat Kohli.

An enthralling morning session belonged to the peerless Kohli, whose 123 came to an end at the stroke of lunch when he edged Pat Cummins to a forward-diving Handscomb at second slip.

India's Virat Kohli celebrates on scoring his century, his 25th in Test cricket

IMAGE: India's Virat Kohli celebrates on scoring his century, his 25th in Test cricket. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Whether Handscomb got his fingers under the ball will be a matter of debate for days to come but the onfield official's soft signal was out and the third umpire did not reverse the decision on review.

Kohli had reached his 25th century in style with a flowing off-drive to the boundary and then placed his helmet on the ground, pointed to his bat and made a yapping gesture with his gloved hand. 

Australia's Peter Handscomb celebrates after taking a catch to dismiss India skipper Virat Kohli off the bowling of Pat Cummins

IMAGE: Australia's Peter Handscomb celebrates after taking a catch to dismiss India skipper Virat Kohli off the bowling of Pat Cummins. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

It was his sixth century in Australia, which matches the tally of the great Sachin Tendulkar, and ended a drought against Australia with just 83 runs in his past seven Test innings against them.

Kohli showed no lasting ill-effects from an earlier injury scare when he was struck on the forearm by a searing Mitchell Starc bouncer and required treatment.

Australia's Nathan Lyon raises the ball aloft after claiming his fifth wicket at the end of India's first innings

IMAGE: Australia's Nathan Lyon raises the ball aloft after claiming his fifth wicket at the end of India's first innings. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Spinner Nathan Lyon targeted the pitch's expansive rough patches and cleaned up the tail to finish with 5-67.

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