Agencies, Chennai Manoj Tiwari (129) (187 balls, 18 fours, 3 sixes) and opener Shane Watson (84) (87 balls 13 fours, one six) stole the show with sparkling knocks as Australia replying to India A’s first innings score of 451 in 128.4 overs slumped to 131 for 4 in 36 overs at the end of the 2nd days play in their second warm up game here today.
On a truncated day’s play due to overnight rain with plays starting only at noon, the Aussies working out their playing XI for the first test to be played here next week had a taste of the spin bowling which they may have to stave off in the test matches, with India A left armer Rakesh Dhruv (2 for 19) and Jalaj Saxena, who also claimed two wickets, striking quick blows. This was after Watson and his opening partner Ed Cowan put on 116 runs in the first 23 overs to give the Aussies a playing start. Dhruv struck first trapping Cowan lbw. Then Saxena dismissed Philip Hugh (1) and Usman Khawaja (1) to see the Aussies three down for 127.
Watson who got his first 50 off 52 balls was the third batsman to get out. Earlier, the three Aussies spinners N Lyon (2 for 113), X Doharty (3 for 108) and M Agar, the other left arm spinner (3 for 107) proved to be costly conceding more than 100 runs each, a cause for concern for the Aussies keeper Michel Clark who sat out to watch his players perform in the run up to the first test beginning here on February 22.
After two inspections when umpires Anil Chudhury and Paschim Pathak announced play from 1210hrs, the Aussie bowlers continued to be tormented by overnight batsman Manoj Tewari taking them on with his overnight partner Gautham((38, 64 bls, six fours),he added 74 runs for the fifth wicket. Gautham fell to Peter Siddle, caught behind by Wade. Tiwary completed his century off 149 balls with the help of 15 fours, two sixes and finally fell to off spinner Nathan Lyon, caught by Doherty.
However, the Aussie bowlers managed to peg the India A batsmen from then on with left arm spinner Agar striking missing even a hat trick after dismissing Rakesh Dhruv, the Gujarat all rounder(21m three sixes, 16 bls) and Vinaykumar (0) off successive deliveries. But Manpreet Gony(2) prevented the hat-trick before finally falling to Agar. As Dhawil Kulkarni(1) fell to Lyon, the innigns ended with Saxena remaining not out on 30 (106 bls,three fours). Significantly, all the India A batsmen were dismissed caught.
India A (Overnight 338-4): 451 in 128.4 overs(Manoj Tiwry 129, Gautham 38, Rakesh Dhruv21, Jalaj Saxena 30 not out; Xavier Doherty 3-108, A Agar 3-107).
Australia: 131-4 in 36 overs (S Watson 84, Ed Cowan 40; Rakesh Dhruv 2- 19, Jalaj Saxena 2-14)