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India on course for series victory over Australia after dramatic day in Dharamsala

62   //    27 Mar 2017, 17:00 IST
RavindraJadeja - Cropped
Ravindra Jadeja, seen here in action in 2014

A superb bowling performance on Monday set India firmly on the path to a series-clinching victory over Australia in the fourth and final Test.

At the start of day three, a dramatic series was perfectly balanced at 1-1 as India resumed 248-6, still 52 behind Australia's 300 all out.

Ravindra Jadeja struck four fours and as many sixes in a swashbuckling 63 to propel his side to a useful but not decisive lead of 32 before he, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin took over with the ball.

The trio took three wickets apiece as Australia crumbled to 137 all out, Glenn Maxwell's 45 the best they could muster as the pressure told on the tourists, who saw their hold on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy slip away.

Set a target of just 106 to win, KL Rahul took 12 off Pat Cummins' first over before he and Murali Vijay made it to stumps unscathed at 19-0 with India in prime position to settle a gripping, see-saw series in their favour on Tuesday.

The tone was set for a dramatic day when Jadeja was given out caught behind from the very first ball, the batsman successfully overturning the decision as replays proved he had clipped pad with his bat and not ball.

Struck by Cummins on the helmet after passing fifty, Jadeja responded by hooking a four and a six in the same over but an inside edge onto his stumps ended his stay in Cummins' next set of six.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0) and Wriddhiman Saha (31) followed in the next two overs before Nathan Lyon (5-92) ousted Kuldeep Yadav (7) to wrap up the innings.


India's seamers had Australia under severe pressure after lunch, and the tourists were three down before they managed to wipe out the deficit.

David Warner's struggles continued - the left-hander dropped at slip by Karun Nair before feathering an edge behind to depart for just six, finishing the series with an average of 24.

It looked as though Steve Smith's marvellous form would continue until the captain played on from Kumar for a 15-ball 17, Matt Renshaw (8) edging to Saha off Umesh (3-29) in the next over to worsen Australia's plight.

Maxwell and Peter Handscomb (18) stemmed the tide with a stand of 56, but the latter perished to Ashwin (3-29) and Jadeja (3-24) dismissed Shaun Marsh (1) to leave the tourists only 60 ahead at tea.

There was little let up after the interval, Matthew Wade (25 not out) surviving a tight lbw review on umpire's call, but there was no such luck for Maxwell, who was trapped in front by Ashwin.

Cummins (12) edged Jadeja to slip before Steve O'Keefe, Lyon and Josh Hazlewood all departed without scoring as Australia just managed to set a target in three figures, quickly put into perspective by India's openers.

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