Cricket: Marsh, Handscomb help Australia draw 3rd Test
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Cricket: Marsh, Handscomb help Australia draw 3rd Test

RANCHI, India, March 20, 2017 (AFP) - Skipper Steve Smith said the momentum was now firmly with Australia in their battle against India after a fine final-day rearguard action by his batsmen saw the visitors draw the third Test Monday.Australia, who began their second innings 152 runs adrift of India, were in deep trouble after being reduced to 63-4 before Peter Handscomb (72 not out) and Shaun Marsh (53) put on 124 for the fifth wicket.The tourists eventually reached 204 for 6 at stumps on the fifth and final day, after the hosts made a mammoth 603-9 declared in their first innings in Ranchi.Ravindra Jadeja claimed four wickets to return overall match figures of 9-178 at Indias newest Test venue. But Smith said Australia would go into next weekends series finale in Dharamsala full of confidence.If theres anything called momentum in cricket, its with our side at this moment, Smith told reporters after the match.India coming today would have expected to bowl us out. Im sure theyre hurting a little bit in their change room. Having said that, its (four-match series) 1-1 and looking forward to the decider.Cheteshwar Pujara (202) and Wriddhiman Saha (117) were the main stars of the match for India with a 199-run seventh-wicket stand on Sunday, while Smith himself scored an imperious unbeaten 178 in Australias first innings.But it was Handscomb and Marshs 232-minute resistance on the final day -- broken only late in the last session -- that proved decisive.Jadeja dismissed Marsh and his fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin then claimed the wicket of first innings centurion Glenn Maxwell for two, giving India brief hope of a dramatic final twist in the tale.Sticking it outBut a composed Handscomb played out the remaining few overs with Wade for company as Australia avoided defeat in their 800th Test.Im proud with the way the boys were able to stick it out today, said Smith.The way Marsh and Handscomb batted today was fantastic. I thought they played beautifully. They didnt look like they were getting out for a while. Im

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