Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 | Last Update : 10:58 PM IST
Handscomb guided Australia to 204-6 to ensure India had no chance to snatch a late victory.
Ranchi: Peter Handscomb batted for most of the last day for an unbeaten 72 and shared a match-saving 124-run partnership with Shaun Marsh as Australia salvaged a draw on Monday in the third Test against India in Ranchi.
Handscomb faced 200 balls after going to the crease in the first session of the fifth day with Australia in trouble at 63-4 before lunch. He guided Australia to 204-6, ensuring Australia erased the first-innings deficit and built enough of a cushion in the second to ensure India had no chance to snatch a late victory.
The result means the series is level at 1-1 ahead of the fourth and last match.
Handscomb and Marsh (53) combined before lunch after Australia, having resumed at 23-2, lost the vital wickets of opener Matt Renshaw (15) and captain Steve Smith (21) in successive overs. The fifth-wicket pair took the innings deep into the last session before Marsh was out to Ravindra Jadeja (4-54), caught at bad-pat, and setting up a suspenseful last half hour.
Marsh, who had made a modest contribution of just 93 runs in his five previous innings in the series, did enough to ensure even the loss of Glenn Maxwell (2) didn't throw the Australians too far off course.
Handscomb's best previous score in the series had been 24.
Australia had resumed on 23 for two, with no real prospects of pushing for victory after trailing by 152 on the first innings. Renshaw and Smith carefully navigated their way through the first hour before both were dismissed after the drinks break.
Australia won the toss and scored 451 in the first innings, but a masterful 202 from Cheteshwar Pujara helped India reached 603-9 declared, giving the hosts more than three full sessions to push for a victory.