Despite Kohli’s century, India collapse to give Australia 43-run lead

Perth: India failed to cash in on Virat Kohli’s masterful 25th hundred and lost their last last three wickets for 31 runs to be bowled out for 283 before Australia extended their lead in the third Test here Sunday.

Nathan Lyon (5-67) took his 14th five-wicket haul in Test cricket as Australia took a 43-run lead in the first innings. The hosts then reached 59 for 1.

Post lunch, India’s first innings lasted only another 12.3 overs as the lengthy tail refused to wag for the third time this series. Ishant Sharma (1) was the first to go, offering a simple return catch to Lyon in the second over after resumption of play.

Rishabh Pant (36) changed gears and tried to attack the Australia bowling, adding 25 runs with Umesh Yadav (4 not out) for the ninth wicket, before holing out off Lyon again.

The off-spinner then proceeded to pick his fifth out of seven Indian wickets to fall on the day as Jasprit Bumrah (4) was caught at slip. In doing so, Lyon equalled Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan with seven five-wicket hauls against India in Test cricket.

Overall, India lost their last six wickets for 60 runs to hand Australia the advantage. Kohli took India past 200 in the 80th over, and then reached his hundred off 214 balls.

It was his sixth Test hundred on Australian soil, and he became the second-quickest batsman in Test history to score 25 Test hundreds (in 127 innings) after Sir Donald Bradman’s 68 innings. This was also his 34th hundred as India skipper across formats, second only to Ricky Ponting’s 41 centuries as Australian captain.

The celebrations though were cut short as Australia used the second new ball to good effect with Vihari caught behind off Josh Hazlewood (2-66) in the 86th over. Pant then joined his captain in the middle, and played an uncharacteristic innings unlike Adelaide, adding 18 runs for the sixth wicket as India crossed 250 and started closing the gap on Australia’s first innings’ total of 326.

But Kohli fell before lunch, edging Pat Cummins (1-54) to second slip where Peter Handscomb just got his fingers under the ball. TV replays were not sufficient enough to overturn the on-field umpire’s soft signal of dismissal. The visitors lost another wicket in this short passage as Mohammed Shami (0), again batting ahead of Ishant, edged Lyon behind first ball.

NT Bureau