ICC WTC Final, Day 3 Report: Australia place one hand on the mace, Lead by 296

Saurabh AnandSaurabh Anand

June 10 2023
Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, ICC WTC final

Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green remained unbeaten at the end of day 3 of the ICC WTC final.

Australia have placed their one hand in the ICC World Test Championship mace at The Oval. They looked to be dominating India in the WTC Final with both, bat and ball. At the end of day 3, they have extended their lead to 296 runs and have 6 wickets in hand. After bowling out India on 296 runs, Australian batters have batted cautiously against the Indian pace attack. It is Ravindra Jadeja who is playing a key role in the Indian bowling line-up as day 3 ends in the big final. With 2 wickets, he kept an outside chance for India open. Australia had a great start as Scott Boland bamboozled KS Bharat in the second ball of the day. From there, Ajinkya Rahane (89) and Shardul Thakur (51) stitched a 109 runs stand for the 7th wicket. After this partnership Indian tail didn’t stay for long as India were bundled out on 296, trailing by 173 runs. 

Australia took 173 runs lead at the end of first inning

During the Rahane – Thakur partnership, Australia had a few chances but they failed to grab the opportunities. Cummins trapped Shardul Thakur in front but it turned out to be no-ball giving Thakur a life. It was Cameron Green who took a brilliant catch right after lunch to break India’s only big partnership in the game. Later on, Green got Shardul Thakur caught behind the wicket and made Australia take control of the game. Captain Pat Cummins picked up 3 wickets in the innings, and Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green, and Scott Boland picked up 2 wickets each. Australia didn’t use Lyon as much and he bowled only 4 overs but picked up a crucial wicket of Ravindra Jadeja. Australia came in to bat with 173 runs lead in the first innings. 

Labuschagne and Smith’s love for batting continues

Indian bowlers did have a great opening spell against Australian openers but Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith’s partnership once again put Australia on top with the lead going out of reach against India. Mohammed Siraj made an opening strike as David Warner was caught behind on just 1 run. When Usman Khawaja looked settled against pacers, Umesh Yadav came in and broke the concentration of the southpaw who went for a lusty drive outside off once again in the test match. With early 2 wickets, India sniffed an opportunity to bounce back but Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne’s love for batting left them behind once again in the race of mace. They both added 62 runs for the third wicket before Ravindra Jadeja got Smith out who was trying to go over the top but found himself in an awkward position during the shot. 

Green and Jadeja to decide the game on day 4

First-innings’ centurion, Travis Head looked uncomfortable in his entire 27-ball stay at the crease. He did try to ease the pressure with two big shots but was uncomfortable against the Indian pacer short-pitched attack. Head tried to break the shackles against Jadeja but became too ambitious and lost his wicket just 7 overs before stumps on day 3. Cameron Green made some great foot movement against Shami and Umesh’s end of the day spell. A lot will depend on how Green bats along with Marnus Labuschagne who is still showing his love for the batting and is unbeaten on 41 runs in 118 at the end of the day. Green looked a little uncomfortable against Indian pacers bowling outside the off stump in the first inning. Ravindra Jadeja will have a key role for India on day 4, but he will need some great support from the pacers in the early hours. At the end of the day Australia finished on 123/4 with 296 runs lead. 

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