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Australia vs. India 2014, 3rd Test, Day 4: Highlights, Scorecard, Report

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterDecember 29, 2014

Australia's Chris Rogers bats against India during their play on day one of the third cricket test in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Andrew Brownbill/Associated Press

Australia closed Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test with a 326-run lead over India after reaching 261-7 in the second innings.

The hosts wasted no time ending India's innings—Mitchell Johnson struck twice while the tourists mustered just three more runs.

With the bat, wickets fell at regular intervals, but half-centuries from Chris Rogers and Shaun Marsh propped up the score and set up an interesting Day 5.

Much will depend on captain Steve Smith's confidence in the pitch and his bowlers, but India must win to avoid a series defeat.

India, 1st Innings Scorecard
BatsmanDismissalBowlerRunsMinsBalls
Vijayc S Marshb Watson68211135
Dhawanc Smithb Harris286551
Pujarac Haddinb Harris258971
Kohlic Haddinb Johnson169379272
Rahanelbwb Lyon147236171
Rahulc Hazlewoodb Lyon398
Dhonic Haddinb Harris112723
Ashwinc and b Harris064
Shamic Smithb Johnson124530
U Yadavc Haddinb Johnson02
I Sharmanot out096
Extras1nb 0w 0b 1lb2
Totalall out (128.5 ovs)465
BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
Johnson30.561353
Harris26.07704
Hazlewood25.06750
Watson16.03651
Lyon29.031082
Smith2.00110
BBC

The day began with Johnson in brutal mood—the second delivery was a short ball that reared up to Umesh Yadav, and it would have been too good for many a batsman, let alone a tail-ender. He feathered it behind.

Mohammed Shami did not last a great deal longer, and with a deficit of 65 runs, India were keen not to let Australia get away.

If they were heartened by reports of David Warner's hand injury—he was seen on television footage in the nets playing very cautiously and taking his hand off the bat with almost every shot—they were soon given reason to think again.

Warner flew at the opening bowlers, and he was particularly brutal to Yadav. With a series of crisp fours and all-out attack, he scored 32 from just 17 balls at one stage while Rogers got going more sedately.

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Australia, 2nd Innings Scorecard
BatsmanDismissalBowlerRunsMinsBalls
Warnerlbwb Ashwin406742
Rogersb Ashwin69191123
Watsonc Dhonib I Sharma174234
Smithc Rahaneb U Yadav144627
S Marshnot out62182131
Burnsc Dhonib I Sharma92117
Haddinc Dhonib U Yadav134027
Johnsonc Rahaneb Shami154627
Harrisnot out83327
Extras5nb 1w 0b 8lb14
Totalfor 7 (75.0 ovs)261
BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
U Yadav14.01732
Shami20.02751
I Sharma19.04492
Ashwin22.02562
BBC

Warner slowed down, but not before the lead had swelled appreciably, and he finally fell for 40 after missing a delivery from Ravi Ashwin's spin and being trapped leg before wicket.

Shane Watson and Smith—surprisingly, given his sensational form—both got into the teens before following Warner back into the pavilion.

Smith, caught flicking a poor ball to leg slip, could scarcely believe his dismissal.

Rogers and Marsh made the two big contributions of the innings, but they spent just seven overs together. The former was bowled by Ashwin via an inside edge, while Joe Burns' Test debut ended inauspiciously with a single-figure score and an edge behind via Ishant Sharma.

There were more starts—Brad Haddin and Johnson both spent around 45 minutes in the middle with Marsh, but neither went on, leaving Marsh with Ryan Harris at stumps.

Mohandas Menon @mohanstatsman

England is the only team to successfully chase 300+ in the 4th inns of a Test match at the MCG. They made 332/7 way back in 1929 AusvInd

Australia will scent blood, but both sides have a chance going into the final day, which could make for a thrilling finale to the third Test of a fascinating series. 

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