The Australia A side is led by Mitchell Marsh who made 86 not out on Day One of the second ‘Test’. (File Photo)
The morning session of the first day’s play in the second unofficial Test between India A and Australia A at Alur on Saturday had to be extended by half an hour because food didn’t arrive on time due to traffic jam. Asked about this, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary Sudhakar Rao said: “I have to check, because I’m not aware of this. This is left to the BCCI only, they will arrange everything. We are coordinating, that’s all. I don’t know from where they are ordering the food. When we do our (KSCA) matches (in Alur), we get it from the Golden Palms only, just opposite the ground.” The match officials couldn’t be contacted.
It is learnt that the hotel which is supplying food for this game is about an hour’s drive from the match venue. Electing to bat first, Australia A made 290/6 at stumps, with skipper Mitchell Marsh batting on 86. Kuldeep Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem took two wickets apiece for India A. Marsh played 151 balls so far, hitting 13 boundaries while Neser has also played 108 balls hitting six fours in the process. Opting to bat, Australia A were in trouble at 180 for six before Marsh and pacer Michael Neser (44 batting) added 110 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand. Marsh played 151 balls so far, hitting 13 boundaries while Neser has also played 108 balls hitting six fours in the process. Among the top order, No 3 Travis Head (68) and opener Kurtis Patterson (48) added 92 runs for the second wicket before a middle-order collapse occurred.
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (2/68) and left-arm orthodox Shahbaz Nadeem (2/64) were the most successful bowlers. Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (1/60) and Rajneesh Gurbani (1/50) also chipped in with a wicket each. Australia A started off disastrously by losing opener Matt Renshaw for a duck. The opener, who made his way into the side after recovering from hamstring injury, was cleaned up by seamer Gurbani.
However Patterson and Head steadied the ship with a 92-run second wicket stand. Patterson played aggressively hitting eight boundaries while Head played steadily and kept the scoreboard ticking, until Nadeem dismissed him. Head’s 68 was decorated with 10 boundaries, before he was stumped by Kona Bharat off Yadav’s bowling.
Thereafter, Australia A lost three quick wickets as Indian spinners, Nadeem and Yadav, came to the party by picking up Peter Handscomb (8), Head and Marnus Labuschagne (nought), leaving the visiting side tottering at 140 for five. Gowtham picked Ashton Agar’s (23) wicket, leaving Australia A 180 for six, but Marsh and Neser, batted patiently and built their partnership steadily.
Opener Usman Khawaja and spinner Jon Holland, who were star performers in 98-run victory over India A in their first match, were rested to give Agar, Renshaw and leggie Mitchell Swepson a chance. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey has flown home for the birth of his first child, with Handscomb taking the gloves for this match.
Brief scores: Australia A 290/6 (Mitchell Marsh 86 not out, Travis Head 68; Shahbaz Nadeem 2-64, Kuldeep 2-68) vs India A.
Match inputs from PTI
with the Express Morning Briefing