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Sports

Green hits 84 as Australia extend lead over India past 400

  • No team has bettered 288 to win in the fourth innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Australia achieving that mark gainst South Africa in 2006.
Published January 10, 2021

SYDNEY: Cameron Green smashed an entertaining 84 with India facing a record-breaking run chase to win the third Test after Australia built an ominous 406-run lead by tea on day four Sunday as they zero in on 2-1 series lead.

No team has bettered 288 to win in the fourth innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Australia achieving that mark gainst South Africa in 2006.

Green fell on the stroke of tea after a maiden Test half-century, with captain Tim Paine unbeaten on 39 and Australia on 312 for six.

The break was taken after a seven-minute holdout that saw six people in the crowd seemingly ejected by police after Mohammed Siraj, fielding on the boundary at fine leg, had complained to the umpire.

It was not clear what was said, but India had reportedly lodged a complaint on Saturday after allegations of racist abuse towards the team by sections of the crowd.

Steve Smith, chasing a second century of the match, scored 81 before falling to Ravi Ashwin as he started open up after lunch, while Marnus Labuschagne made 73.

After India were bowled out for 244 in reply to Australia's 338, Labuschagne resumed on 47 and Smith 29 with India needing an early breakthrough to keep their hopes of winning alive.

Labuschagne should have fallen second ball, but an appalling error by Hanuma Vihari left bowler Jasprit Bumrah clutching his face in disbelief.

Labuschagne flicked a straight delivery to square leg at knee height for what should have been a regulation catch, but it somehow hit Vihari's wrist and went to ground.

It was another setback for a side without the spin of dynamic allrounder Ravindra Jadeja after he was hit on the left thumb while batting on Saturday.

He didn't take the field with Indian media saying it was dislocated and he would only bat "if required", with the injury likely to rule him out of the fourth Test next week.

Rishabh Pant also took a nasty blow to his elbow while batting and was another no-show with Wriddhiman Saha keeping wicket instead.

However, Pant's injury was not believed to be as bad as Jadeja and he was expected to bat through the pain in their run chase.

Labuschagne brought up back-to-back 50s with a single off Bumrah and looked comfortable until Saini snapped his 103-run partnership with Smith.

Matthew Wade quickly went for four, and it proved slow going for Smith as India found variable bounce to make life tough.

But following his first innings 131, he kept his focus to notch another half-century, ably accompanied by Cameron Green.

But after hitting a six and four in the first over after lunch, he was trapped lbw by his nemesis Ashwin.

Green, 21, again showed composure to help solidify his place in the team, bringing up his maiden 50 with a boundary then smacked three huge sixes, including two in a row off Siraj.

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