In a historic Test, Ellyse Perry made some history of her own.
The 30-year-old picked up her 300th international wicket, before keeping India at bay late on day three.
After India eventually declared their innings at 8-377, the tourists made a strong start with the ball to have the home side 3-80 under lights.
But Perry (27*), together with Ash Gardner (13*), managed to see Australia to 4-143 at stumps ahead of the final day, with a draw all but certain following the tourists lack of intent and two evenings of rain which wiped out a day of play.
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India’s lack of intent to take the game on was hit out by former Australian captain Lisa Sthalekar, with the all-rounder bemoaning the lack of desire to move the game forward and by way of entertainment make a statement to broadcasters and the general public.
“The easy thing for both teams to do is say, ‘you know what, we’ve lost a day, let’s just draw it, two points and we’ll go into the T20s,’” Sthalekar said early on day three on Fox Cricket.
“But if these sides are brave, and if they actually want to see more Test cricket, there is an ownership on both teams, both captains, both coaching staffs, to try and see if they can move the game forward.
“It would be a brave decision from both captains, but boy all of us sitting and watching want it.”
Earlier, Perry eventually had Pooja Vastrakar caught by Beth Mooney, with India 7-359 on Saturday afternoon.
Her breakthrough has her just one scalp behind England’s Katherine Brunt, who is second for the most wickets across all three formats in the women’s game. India’s Jhulan Goswami has the most with 337.
Perry could have had her milestone wicket earlier in the day, when she had Taniya Bhatia trapped in front, but neither the bowler or field appealed as the right-hander clamped down on the ball which hit her toe first.
Replays confirmed the ball was tracking to hit the stumps, with commentators Brad Hodge and Sthalekar left surprised Australia didn’t go up in appeal.
“I’ll tell you what, if I’m a fast bowler I’m up for that,” Hodge said on Fox Cricket.
“Well no one did, no one did,” Sthalekar replied.
“Yep, toe first, I reckon that’s plum.”
“Gone,” Hodge said. “I’m surprised by that, that Ellyse Perry hasn’t even asked the question and I think Taniya Bhatia knew that straight away.”
At the time, India was 5-277 with Bhatia on 0 from 16 deliveries.
Australia’s failure to appeal has added to the frustration of the home side, who were trying to take the game on against the Indians who had been patient despite their strong position.
India did eventually declare at 8-377 before dinner on the third day, and Australia quickly found themselves a wicket down as Beth Mooney was bowled for just four by Jhulan Goswami.
Goswami struck again to take out fellow opener Alyssa Healy for 29 after Meg Lanning survived a scare on 17 when she was dropped by Deepti Sharma.
Australia’s nightmare start didn’t end there though, as Lanning was eventually bowled lbw for 38 by Pooja Vastrakar before the Indian bowler claimed Tahlia McGrath for 28.
Australia was scoring at a much faster rate than their Indian counterparts as they ended on 4-143 at stumps on day three, trailing by 234 runs and requiring another 84 runs to avoid the follow-on.
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MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs India, live scoreboard
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland*, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham*, Darcie Brown*, Stella Campbell*
India XI: Smriti Mandhana, Shafail Verma, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj (c), Yastika Bhatia*, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh*, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
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