Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Australia well set

Published:Tuesday | December 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Australia's Shaun Marsh attempts a pull shot during the fourth day of their cricket Test match in Melbourne yesterday. - AP

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):

Chris Rogers (69) and Shaun Marsh scored half centuries as Australia built a 326-run lead over India after four days of the third Test, putting the hosts in position to push for a series-clinching third-straight win.

Australia were 261-7 in their second innings at stumps yesterday, losing wickets at regular intervals, but did enough to build a challenging target, reducing India's chances of getting the win they need to stay alive in the series.

Marsh held together the mid-to-late order and brought up his 50 with a six off Ravichandran Ashwin into the sight screen on his way to 62 not out at the end of play, with Ryan Harris on eight.

"We need a few more runs than we have on the board at the moment," opener David Warner said. "Shaun Marsh is batting fantastic and we saw what Ryan Harris did in the first innings."

Warner made 40 off 42 balls to provide Australia with a fast start to their innings before being trapped lbw by Ashwin (2-56). Ishant Sharma (2-49) claimed Shane Watson (17) shortly after the rain-delayed start of the second session when the batsman got a thick outside edge. Umesh Yadav took 2-73.

India need to win to stay alive in the four-match series. Australia can reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a win or draw in Melbourne after a 48-run win in the first Test and a four-wicket victory last week in the second Test at Brisbane.

"Any score on the final day is going to be tricky," Ashwin said. "It's going to be hard work, but we're up for it. We want to win."