Australia loses 2 wickets in 2nd-innings run chase vs India

By GREG BUCKLE 28 December 2020, 12:00AM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia had two early setbacks on Monday in its second innings and still trailed India by 66 runs at tea on day three of the second cricket test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Joe Burns (4) and Marnus Labuschagne (28) were out for Australia. The home side had reached 65-2 and faces a difficult task to make enough runs to set India a challenging fourth-innings target.

Trailing by 131 runs on the first innings, Australia lost Burns in the fourth over, after the nervous opener was caught behind off the bowling of Umesh Yadav. Burns, who made a duck in the first innings, faces a battle to retain his place in the side for the third test.

Yadav limped off with an apparent leg injury midway through his fourth over, depleting India’s bowling attack.

Debutant Mohammed Sirjaj, who took over from Yadav, trapped Labuschagne in front of the stumps on 24. A confident appeal for LBW was turned down and a video review found the ball may have just clipped the stumps, meaning the umpire’s original decision would stand.

Labuschagne fell on 28, however, when he was caught at slip off the bowling of spinner Ravi Ashwin.

Opener Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 27 at tea with Steve Smith, yet to score double figures in the series so far, on six.

India was bowled out just before lunch for 326, losing its last three wickets for one run.

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane was run out for 112. Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (57) had steered India to a first-innings advantage with their 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Rahane, 32, calmly soaked up the pressure applied by Australia’s bowlers in his patient, 223-ball knock, hitting 12 boundaries in his 112.

India is without its best batsman and captain Virat Kohli for the rest of the series, after he returned home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Kohli left with India trailing 1-0 in the four-match series after an eight-wicket loss in Adelaide, where the tourists were bowled out for a national-record low of 36 in its second innings.


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By GREG BUCKLE 28 December 2020, 12:00AM

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