Smith, Marsh steal the show

Cricket Warm-up game : Duo slam centuries as Australia finish day one on 327/5 against India 'A'

Smith, Marsh steal the show

 India ‘A’ bowlers were largely ineffective, allowing Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh to strike comfortable hundreds as Australia started their Test tour in impressive fashion in the three-day warm-up game here on Friday.

Riding on the two batsmen’s centuries before both were retired out, Australia made 327 for five wickets by stumps on day one of the match against a largely unimpressive India A attack at the Brabourne Stadium.

At close, Mitchell Marsh (16) and Matthew Wade (7) were the unbeaten batsmen.
Smith and Shaun came together after the visitors had lost openers David Warner (25) and Matt Renshaw (11) when the score was 55 for two. They were largely untroubled by the home team’s attack before both retired to the pavilion after notching up hundreds and putting on 156 runs for the third wicket.

Medium pacer Navdeep Saini dismissed Warner and Renshaw in his six-over first spell by coming on as first-change before lunch and then finished with 2/27 at the end of the day. Captain Hardik Pandya picked up the wicket of Peter Handscomb late in the day with the second new ball.

 Smith batsman made 107, his 30th hundred that includes 15 in Test cricket in his 100th first-class game, in 161 balls before he decided not to resume his innings after tea, when Australia were 211/2.

Smith played a chanceless knock and impressed with the way he dealt with left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. He also smacked him over long-on for a six by dancing down the pitch besides timing the ball superbly to hit 12 fours too.

The left-handed Shaun, preferred over Usman Khawaja, repaid the faith by making an assured 104 in 173 balls and in 213 minutes.

He too retired after reaching his century after tea to leave Peter Handscomb (45) and his brother Mitchell (16) to carry on when the total read 288/2 in 75 overs.

Shaun, who struck 10 fours and one six, could have been out on 88 when he pulled part-time spinner Akhil Herwadkar but was put down by Saini at short mid-wicket.

The home team’s bowling suffered a setback when off-spinner K Gowtham hurt his hamstring while fielding after lunch and limped off the field.

Saini, who took 2/13 in his pre-lunch spell of six overs, too limped off after bowling four balls in the first over after lunch but returned to the field and also bowled a couple of overs late in the day.

Good start

In the morning, India A started well when Warner and Renshaw were both dismissed by Saini before the visitors recovered through the 156-run stand between Smith and Marsh in 40.5 overs. Smith arrived at the crease at the fall of his deputy Warner in the ninth over of the innings. He batted fluently and was hardly troubled by the bowling barring once when he edged a ball off Nadeem when on 55.

He completed his century in 154 balls with the help of 11 fours and a six in 186 minutes.

Shaun took cue from his captain and began to play with increased confidence to complete his half-century in 86 balls and 131 minutes.


AUSTRALIA (I Innings): David Warner c Kishan b Saini 25, Matt Renshaw c Ishan b Saini 11, Steve Smith (retired out) 107, Shaun Marsh (retired out) 104, Peter Handscomb c Panchal b Pandya 45, Mitchell Marsh (batting) 16, Matthew Wade (batting) 7. Extras (B-4, LB-2, NB-6) 12. Total (for 5 wkts, 90 overs) 327.
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-55, 3-211, 4-290, 5-305.

Bowling: Ashok Dinda 15.2-1-49-0, Hardik Pandya 17-3-64-1, Navdeep Saini 12.4-4-27-2, Shahbaz Nadeem 23-0-90-0, Akhil Herwadkar 11-0-48-0, Shreyas Iyer 7-0-32-0, Priyank Panchal 4-0-11-0.

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