Chennai: Based on a brilliant and patient 150 from opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, Australia A ended the second day’s play at 329/9 to take a 194-run first innings lead over India A in the second and last four-day cricket match being played at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here on Thursday.
Resuming the day at 43 for no loss, the visitors batted the whole day to take a massive lead over India A. Off-spinner Baba Aparajith was a bright spark for the hosts as the 21-year-old took 5/74, his maiden fifer in first class cricket.
Bancroft and captain Usman Khawaja (33) struck a 111-run opening wicket partnership to provide a solid platform to build on for the visitors.
But left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (3/99) put the brakes on the Australia A run rate when he clinched three wickets in a span of 12 runs. Opener Khawaja, Joe Burns (8) and Peter Handscomb (0) all went back to the pavilion in quick succession.
However, middle-order batsman Callum Ferguson (54) stuck it out and built a 107-run fourth wicket partnership with Bancroft to take Australia past the 200-run mark.
Though Ferguson got out, Bancroft kept going to bring up his 150, striking 16 boundaries and a six in his 267-ball innings. He finally got out when he fell to Aparajith with Australia on 282/7.
Indian-origin Australian cricketer Gurinder Sandhu played an important 27-ball 36 lower down the order to guide Australia A past the 300-run mark. He blasted his way with two fours and four sixes.
The visitors ended the day with Steve O’Keefe and Andrew Fekete batting on 6 and 0 respectively.
All-rounder Aparajith was the star Indian, picking up five scalps with Ojha also taking three wickets at the start. Tweaker Shreyas Gopal also chipped in with a wicket.
Brief scores: India A 135 all out vs Australia A 329/9 (Cameron Bancroft 150, Callum Ferguson 54; Baba Aparajith 5/74, Pragyan Ojha 3/99).