WTC Final | Twitter reacts as Australia remain firm favourties after Day 3 despite spirited India comeback
Marnus Labuschagne batted brilliantly on Friday|
India’s valiant comeback of reaching 296 after having slipped to 152/6 was overshadowed by Australia’s resilient performance in the second innings of the WTC final. The Kangaroos, riding on Marnus Labuschagne’s unbeaten 41, closed Day 3 on 123/4, leading India by 296 runs.
Having cleaned up KS Bharat on the second ball of the day, Scott Boland got Australia off to an ideal start under the blue sky at The Oval. After that, Pat Cummins and Co. had two chances to dismiss Shardul Thakur early, but two catch drops when the Indian all-rounder was batting on nought and eight runs gave India some hope of staying in the game. Thakur made full use of his lifelines, adding 109 runs to the scorecard alongside classy Ajinkya Rahane to save India from an embarrassing collapse.
However, Cameron Green’s exceptional reflex catch denied Rahane a memorable century on his Test comeback. Still, the veteran’s valiant 89-run knock, coupled with Thakur’s counter-punching 51, helped India to avoid the follow-on as the Men in Blue eventually finished on 296, leaving Australia to boast a handsome 173-run lead.
Unlike Day 1, India's pacers looked far more threatening with the new ball to keep India’s slim WTC hopes alive. They got rewarded with a dangerous David Warner wicket inside four overs, with Mohammed Siraj drawing the first blood with a gorgeous delivery. Usman Khawaja, who had a ten-ball duck in the first innings, did not make a huge impact in the second innings either as Umesh Yadav ended his struggling 39-ball stay in the 14th over, sending Australia to a spot of bother having reduced them to 24/2. However, two early departures made little difference to Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne’s batting, who spirited a 62-run stand to strengthen Australia’s chances to secure an outright victory.
During the fag end of the day, Ravindra Jadeja took centre stage, as his extravagant turn of the rough helped India remove both of Australia’s first innings centurions Steve Smith (34) and Travis Head (18) in quick succession. Still, Labuschagne remained unmoved at the crease till the close of play, and his presence in the middle along with Cam Green kept Australia firmly in control after the day’s end.
Very very importartant runs!
@DrawThisTweet Ajinkya Rahane And Shardul Thakur 200 Runs— Aayush Diwate 🇮🇳 (@aayushdiwate21) June 9, 2023
he is sticking there!
Labuschagne playing very slow, responsible for smiths wicket!— Dr. Idrees Mubarik (@doc_hormone) June 9, 2023
Marnus already got Smith and head wicket 🥵— Abhi (@Yarig_helona) June 9, 2023
Brilliant from Jaddu!
Jadeja took wicket of both smith&hade and also added precious run, he desrves respect love not hate. Btw he doesn’t need your support love and all… 😇😇— Amit Kumar (@__am1t) June 9, 2023
Yarr eh kitti awesome hi yaar!
Looks nothing gonna work!
Us leading by 280? Yeah its enjoyable. Terrible wicket— Rob Smith (@rcssmedasmith) June 9, 2023
He is always right!
He did it!
Hahaha! Not that easy mate.