India ‘A’ draw 4-day match against Australia ‘A’

Chennai, July 25 (IANS) The first of the two four-day first class matches between India ‘A’ and Australia ‘A’ ended in a draw at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday.

The hosts resumed play at 121/3 in the morning, following which they declared at 206/8, giving Australia a target of 240 runs. The visitors batted well but ran out of overs and time to finish the day’s play at 161/4.

India resumed play in the morning with Shreyas Iyer (33) and Karun Nair (23) at the crease. The two added a few runs before walking back to the pavilion. Vijay Shankar (15) and Amit Mishra (13 not out) also added a few runs before skipper Cheteshwar Pujara decided to declare the innings and let his bowlers have a go at the Australian batsmen.

Australia bowlers had a good outing with pacer Gurinder Sandhu (2-27), spinner Steve O’Keefe (2-81) and medium pacer Marcus Stoinis (2-18) clinching two wickets each. Fast bowler Andrew Fekete (1-28) and Travis Head (1-20) also chipped in with a wicket each.

In reply, the Australians started well and were cruising at 115/1 with opener Cameron Bancoft (51) and Head (50) striking fluent half-centuries. But three quick wickets of Bancoft, Head and Peter Handscomb (0) slowed the run rate, bringing about the end of the match.

The Australia innings ended with Nic Maddinson (37 not out) and Stoinis (9 not out) at the crease at the close of play.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who has been selected in the senior squad for the three-match Test series against Sri Lankan in August, was in the thick of things as he picked two wickets for 49 runs.

Brief scores: India ‘A’ 301 and 206/8 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 42, Abhinav Mukund 40; Marcus Stoinis 2-18, Gurinder Sandhu 2-27) drew against Australia ‘A’ 268 and 161/4 (Cameron Bancoft 51, Travis Head 50; Amit Mishra 2-49).

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