Ajinkya Rahane smashed a scintillating century to help India A finish Day 1 of the practice game against Australia A on 237/8 here on Sunday.
After opting to bat first, India A witnessed a very poor start as both openers, Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, were sent back to the pavilion within three overs. Michael Neser dismissed Gill while James Pattinson removed Shaw.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari then came out to bat. Both played cautiously and avoided playing risky shots. After the completion of 18 overs, India A were at 40/2 with Pujara and Vihari playing at 21 and 15 respectively.
In the 19th over, Jackson Bird got hold of Vihari as Australia A started to put pressure on India A. Ajinkya Rahane was the next batsman and formed a good partnership with Pujara. The duo tackled the Australia A bowlers well and took the team over the 100-run mark.
Pujara went on to complete his half-century from 129 deliveries. Soon after his fifty, Pujara gave away his wicket to Pattinson. Wriddhiman Saha too failed to leave a mark as he was given LBW off Travis Head's ball in the 50th over. After the completion of 50 over, India A's score read 121/5 with Australia A looking in full control.
The fall of the wicket did not stop as Ravichandran Ashwin too returned to the dugout after scoring five runs. Kuldeep Yadav then accompanied Rahane, who kept fighting against the opposition's bowlers and completed his fifty.
Both played brilliantly and kept the scoreboard running. Kuldeep played a slow-paced innings but gave the much-needed support to Rahane from the other end. Rahane, on the other hand, mixed caution with aggression and continued amassing runs for the team.
Kuldeep scored 15 runs from 78 balls before Head dismissed him in the 80th over. Rahane then completed his century off 203 delivers as India A crossed the 200-run mark. Umesh Yadav played a cameo of 24 runs from 18 balls before being given LBW off Neser's delivery. Rahane and Mohammed Siraj will resume India A's innings on Day 2.
Brief Scores: India A 237/8 (Ajinkya Rahane 108*, Cheteshwar Pujara 54, James Pattinson 3-58) vs Australia A.