Travis Head starred for Australia A as he hit 13 fours scoring 87 runs in the process. However, he was denied a century when Krishnappa Gowtham bowled him out. Despite the loss of Head, the tourists still managed to bat out most of the penultimate day's play.
For India A, Mohammed Siraj was again the pick of the bowlers as he continued where he left off in the first innings, claiming another three scalps for the hosts in the second. He was ably supported by Kuldeep Yadav and Gowtham, both of whom picked up two wickets each.
Michael Nesar (25), Chris Tremain (25) and Brendan Dogget (17 not out) all played valuable knocks in the latter part of the innings for Australia A, meaning India were left with just a little over a day to chase down the fourth innings target of 262.
Tremain got an early wicket towards the end of the day, trapping Abhimanyu Easwaran in front for a duck with 20 overs remaining. Jon Holland then picked up the wicket of Shreyas Iyer a short while later, leaving the match evenly balanced; the target in hand is achievable but the visitors will feel confident about getting the remaining 8 wickets too.
Earlier on day two, a below-average showing from the hosts’ middle order saw them dismissed for just 274, meaning they ended the first innings with a slim 31-run lead that Australia had overrun before the end of day’s play.
India A’s batsmen not getting enough runs in the first innings ensured they could not press home their advantage over Australia A that came due to Siraj’s excellent performance with the ball. The right-arm pacer’s eight-wicket haul was crucial in restricting the visitors to just 243. Yet at lunch on Monday, India had already lost half their side for 145, with Gowtham and Ankit Bawane at the crease.
Gowtham’s dismissal after the break opened the floodgates with India struggling against the Aussie bowlers thereafter. They will hope to avoid a similar showing on the final day of the Test on Wednesday.
First Published: September 4, 2018, 5:58 PM IST