Home SPORTS Australia A in driver’s seat against India A

Australia A in driver’s seat against India A


Chennai, July 30:

Based on a brilliant and patient 150 from opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, Australia A ended the second day’s play at 329/9 to take a 194-run first innings lead over India A in the second and last four-day cricket match being played at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here on Thursday.

Praghyan OJha (3 for 99)
Praghyan OJha (3 for 99)

Resuming the day at 43 for no loss, the visitors batted the whole day to take a massive lead over India A. Off-spinner Baba Aparajith was a bright spark for the hosts as the 21-year-old took 5/74, his maiden fifer in first class cricket.

Bancroft and captain Usman Khawaja (33) struck a 111-run opening wicket partnership to provide a solid platform to build on for the visitors.

But left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (3/99) put the brakes on the Australia A run rate when he clinched three wickets in a span of 12 runs. Opener Khawaja, Joe Burns (8) and Peter Handscomb (0) all went back to the pavilion in quick succession.

However, middle-order batsman Callum Ferguson (54) stuck it out and built a 107-run fourth wicket partnership with Bancroft to take Australia past the 200-run mark.

Though Ferguson got out, Bancroft kept going to bring up his 150, striking 16 boundaries and a six in his 267-ball innings. He finally got out when he fell to Aparajith with Australia on 282/7.

Indian-origin Australian cricketer Gurinder Sandhu played an important 27-ball 36 lower down the order to guide Australia A past the 300-run mark. He blasted his way with two fours and four sixes.

The visitors ended the day with Steve O’Keefe and Andrew Fekete batting on 6 and 0 respectively.

All-rounder Aparajith was the star Indian, picking up five scalps with Ojha also taking three wickets at the start. Tweaker Shreyas Gopal also chipped in with a wicket.

Brief scores: India A 135 all out vs Australia A 329/9 (Cameron Bancroft 150, Callum Ferguson 54; Baba Aparajith 5/74, Pragyan Ojha 3/99).