3rd Test: Pucovski gets 50 on debut as Aus reach 93/1 at Tea

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Sydney, Jan 7 (IANS) Debutant opener Will Pucovski scored a gritty half-century and was well supported by Marnus Labuschagne on Thursday as Australia reached 93/1 at Tea on Day One of the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

At the end of the second session, Pucovski and Labuschagne remained unbeaten on 54 and 34 respectively, stitching together a 87-run partnership and laid a perfect platform for Australia to post a big first-innings total.

Earlier, after winning the toss, Australia didn’t have a great start as they lost opener David Warner early in the innings. Warner, who is coming back from groin injury after having missed the first two Tests, was caught in slips by Cheteshwar Pujara off the bowling of pace bowler Mohammed Siraj in the fourth over. Warner scored five runs of the eight balls he faced.

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Australia had reached 21/1 when rain came pouring in the seventh over and players left the field. Umpires called for early Lunch and the play resumed only after a lengthy break in the second session.

Indian bowlers — Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj and Ravichandran Ashwin — all bowled on tight lines and lengths and made sure the hosts didn’t score freely in the start of the post-Lunch session. However, in the last 45 minutes of the session, the visitors were a bit sloppy in the field as wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropped two catches of Pucovski — one against Ashwin and other against Siraj — and allowed the debutant to reach his maiden half century.

For India, debutant pacer Navdeep Saini bowled the final over before the Tea break in which he conceded nine runs.

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Brief scores: Australia 93/1 at Tea (Will Pucovski 54*, Marnus Labuschagne 34*; Mohammed Siraj 1/33)

–IANS

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