Published:  12:00 AM, 19 March 2017

Pujara ton steers India against Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot during the 3rd day of the third Test between India and Australia at the JSCA Stadium complex in Ranchi yesterday. -AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara's sublime century helped India stay on course for a big score despite Australia chipping away with crucial strikes, including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, in the third Test on Saturday.

Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 130 as India reached 306 for six at stumps on day three of the third Test against Australia in Ranchi on Saturday. Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (18) was batting alongside Pujara at close of play with India still trailing the visitors by 91 runs in their first innings.

Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins claimed four wickets while fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood and left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe took one each. Cummins struck twice in the afternoon session as he got Kohli out cheaply for six but Pujara stayed firm at 109 at India's newest Test venue.

 The hosts were 303 for four at tea, still trailing Australia by 148 runs in their first innings. Karun Nair (13) was batting alongside Pujara at the break.

Kohli, who turned out to bat at his regular number four spot laying to rest any injury concerns, could only last 23 balls before edging a catch to his opposite number Steve Smith at second slip. The star batsman had injured his right shoulder after an awkward fall while fielding during Australia's innings on Thursday and stayed off the field for 400 minutes before taking crease.

-AFP, Ranchi


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