Kohli and Rahane star for India

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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A superb innings from Virat Kohli was ended with the last ball of the day as Australia clung to a first innings lead in the third Test in Melbourne.

Kohli made 169 before chasing a wide delivery from Mitchell Johnson and edging behind, where Brad Haddin made a superb diving catch to nick it away from Shane Watson, and India ended day three on 462 for eight, still 68 runs behind.

Together with Ajinkya Rahane, who made 147, Kohli had steered India away from danger in a mammoth partnership worth 262.

However, once that was broken, Australia were able to make inroads into the Indian batting order as Nathan Lyon and Ryan Harris picked up late wickets.

India began day three on 108 for one, but Cheteshwar Pujara was out to the second ball of the day, unable to add to his overnight 25 before edging Harris behind. Haddin sprang to his right to make a superb catch and deny first slip, just as he would again at the end of the day.

Murali Vijay added 13 to his overnight 55 before his innings was ended by a loose shot off Watson which went straight to Shaun Marsh at first slip.

But now Kohli and Rahane took over. Australia would rue a couple of missed chances – not least when Lyon somehow failed to take the simplest of caught-and-bowled opportunities with Rahane on 70 – but the Indian batsman looked in control for the most part as they kept the scoreboard moving.

Soon after Lyon put Rahane down, Johnson thought he saw an opportunity to run out Kohli and threw at the stumps, striking the batsman and knocking him to the ground, and although the apologies were quick, tempers were raised until the umpires intervened at the end of the over.

Watson then dropped Kohli in the slips on 88 off Johnson, and Australia would be made to pay.

The breakthrough did not come until after tea when Rahane was finally beaten, missing with an attempted sweep off Lyon and struck on the back pad to go lbw.

Australia capitalised as Lokesh Rahul quickly followed for three, caught at square leg off Lyon, while MS Dhoni managed only 11 before being caught behind off Harris.

After Ravichandran Ashwin was caught and bowled by Harris for a duck, India had gone from 409 for three to 434 for seven.

However, the wicket Australia needed was Kohli’s and after Johnson secured it with the final ball, it was the hosts who had the bigger smiles at the end of the day.

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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