Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 164 in a resolute batting display of more than four sessions as India reached 435 for 6 in their first innings in reply to Australia's 451 at lunch on day four of the third cricket Test here today. Overnight 130, Pujara has so far batted for eight hours and 52 minutes in his undefeated knock spanning 434 balls with 18 boundaries as he and Wriddhiman Saha (59 batting, 122 balls; 4x4, 1x6) held the fort with an unbroken 107-run partnership. After the first wicket-less session for India while batting, the hosts now trailed the Australians by 16 runs with four first innings wickets in hand after they resumed on 390/6 under overcast conditions at the JSCA International Stadium hosting its maiden Test. India number eight, Saha was also going strong at the other end. He took 100 balls to complete his fifth half century in his 24th Test as he used his feet brilliantly against the spinners and never looked uncomfortable. If their dogged partnership was not enough, India piled misery on the Australians who were unsuccessful twice while using referrals -- when Saha was on 19 and Pujara on 157. Australia were left frustrated when their review for a catch off a sweep shot of Saha in the last over before lunch was also overturned. Australia's wrecker-in-chief Pat Cummins, who made a spectacular comeback after being in the wilderness for more than five years, was used in two spells but the pacer's fifth wicket eluded him. Saha, on 19, survived Cummins' first ball of the day with India successfully using the review to deny the pacer.
He was given LBW by umpire Chris Gaffaney but the review showed the ball was missing leg stump by a few centimetres. The next ball, Saha responded with a boundary, a classical cover drive and the duo brought up 50 partnership under floodlights with conditions overcast and hazy. Approaching his 50, Saha broke the shackles and stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon over midwicket. Saha was dropped on 51, while trying to cut but beaten by the extra bounce of O'Keefe. Replays showed he had a faint edge only to be dropped by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. Pujara, who also has two double tons to his name, posted his second 150 in Tests in 391 balls guiding Lyon for a single as the whole Indian team applauded him at the dressing room. In the next over, Pujara's edge off O'Keefe flew down the slip cordon past Smith as nothing went for Australia in the wicketless first session.
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