Marsh, Handscomb show grit as Australia reduce deficit

Indo Asian News Service

Ranchi, March 20 (IANS) Australia fought back in the second session to not lose a wicket and cut down the first innings deficit to three runs as they posted 149/4 at tea on the fifth day of their third cricket Test against India here on Monday.

At the forefront of the rearguard action were Shaun Marsh (38 off 127) and Peter Handscomb (44 off 115) who together stitched an 86-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The tourists still have six wickets in hand and -- going into the final session -- the match is now likely to end in a stalemate.

Earlier, overnight batsmen Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith started the day in good vein, trying to bat for as long as possible, taking occasional scoring opportunities but no risks whatsoever.

But Sharma and Jadeja struck in the space of four deliveries to send both the batsmen back in the hut and leave the Aussies tottering at 83/4 at lunch.