Pujara stands tall to keep India alive in Ranchi Test

| Updated: Mar 18, 2017 23:10 IST

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], Mar. 18 (ANI): Cheteshwar Pujara once again came to rescue by scoring a fighting century to keep India in contention in the ongoing third Test against Australia at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) International Stadium here on Saturday. At Stumps on Day Three, India were 360-6 in response to Australia's 451 and still trail by 91 runs. Pujara and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhimann Saha were there at the crease on 130 and 18 respectively. Earlier, 29-year-old Pujara lit up Ranchi with a splendid batting display and scored his 11th Test century to help the host seize the advantage. Resuming the day at 120-1, overnight batsman Murali Vijay (82), who shared a 102-run second-wicket partnership with Pujara, also looked in great form until he threw his wicket away by trying an ill-advised attempted lofted shot off Steve O'Keefe at the stroke of Lunch. Pujara, however, as expected, showed every other Indian batsman, how not to throw the wicket away by batting on and reaching a superb hundred. The right-handed batter hared important stands with Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair and Wriddhiman Saha to push India closer towards the Australia's first innings total. For the visitors, Pat Cummins, who was making a comeback to Test cricket, was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 4 for 59, and ensured that India did not run away with the initiative, especially in the final session of the day. On Day 3, he added the wickets of Virat Kohli, Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin, with the last two of his wickets coming off short deliveries. The hosts would like to reduce the deficit as early as possible on the fourth day and take a substantial lead to put Steve Smith and Co. under pressure. However, for that, the lower order once again needs to put up their hands and score some invaluable runs which they have been scoring for this entire season. (ANI)