India ‘A’ set tricky target

India ‘A’ set tricky target

VALIANT: Travis Head of Australia ‘A’ en route his 87 against India ‘A’ during their four-day match. DH PHOTO/ SATISH BADIGER

India ‘A’ were left with a tricky but achievable target of 199 runs on the fourth and final day in their first four-day match against Australia 'A'.

At stumps on the third day here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, India ‘A’ were 63 for 2 in pursuit of Australia ‘A’ target of 262 with in-form opener Mayank Agarwal batting on 25 in the company of Ankit Bawne (6 batting).

Abhimanyu Easwaran (0), who opened in place of R Samarth, and captain Shreyas Iyer (28) left the scene, leaving India ‘A’ struggling at 33 for 2 in 9.1 overs.

Earlier, Travis Head’s crucial 87 helped the tourists reach 292 all out after being reduced to 134 for 4 at one point.

Australia A had scored 243 in their first innings with Usman Khawaja hammering an unbeaten century but his performance was trumped by pacer Indian paceman Mohammed Siraj who claimed 8 for 59.

India had managed a slender lead of 31 runs over Australia by posting 274 all out in their first innings with Bawne producing an unbeaten 91.

Michale Neser (4/61) and Jon Holland (3/89) were the most successful bowlers for Australia A as they picked up seven wickets between them.

Resuming the proceedings on day three at 42 for 1, Head scripted his battling innings off 162 balls with the help of 13 boundaries, as he revived Australia A innings after they lost three quick wickets including Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh, who was run out for nine.

He brought respectability to the Australia total before he was cleaned up by K Gowtham.

While Head’s dismissal left Australia at a difficult 184 for 5, the tail wagged well as Marnus Labuschagne (37), Neser (25) and Chris Tremain (25) made useful contributions taking the lead past 250-run mark.

The star bowler for India ‘A’ was once again Siraj, who picked three wickets for 77, taking his match tally to 11 wickets.

Spinners Gowtham and Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets each and Navdeep Saini claimed one.

‘Need motivation’ 

Kuldeep, who was ignored from the Indian squad for final two Tests against England, said it’s important to be consistent irrespective of which team he is playing for. “The difference when you play for the country is that there will be lot of expectations. And if you are playing a Test series against England then there will be lot of crowd. Here, you hardly get crowd and you need to find motivation and keep focusing on your performance.”

Brief scores: Australia ‘A’: 243 all out in 75.3 overs and 292 all out in 83.5 overs (Usman Khawaja 40, Travis Head 87, Marcus Labuschagne 37, Michael Nesar 25, Chris Tremain 25; Md. Siraj 3-77, K Gowtham 2-53, Kuldeep Yadav 2-51) vs India ‘A’: 274 all out in 83. 1 overs and 63/2 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 25 n.o., Shreyas Iyer 28).

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