Australia ‘A’ on top despite Herwadkar's fight-back
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Akhil Herwadkar led the fight-back for the Indians in the second unofficial Test match against Australia ‘A’ with a well-compiled 82. However, in spite of this, the Australians rode on the back of some splendid batting by Hilton Cartwright who became the first and the only centurion of the match at the moment. Shardul Thakur and Jayant Yadav impressed with the ball with the former picking up a five-wicket haul.
The day began with Cartwright on 99. In spite of reaching his ton early in the morning, the latter stages of the Australian innings were dominated by wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Whiteman. He smashed the ball to different parts, adding frustration to the Indian bowlers. He added 48 runs with Cartwright in the morning session. Jackson Bird ensured that there were indeed finishing touches to the innings with a blitz of 24.
Soon after the lunch interval, Akhil Herwadkar, and Faiz Fazal made their way out to chase down the massive target set by their Australian counterparts. Herwadkar seemed to be the only batsman who was able to handle the red hot Aussie pacers. The Indian openers succeeded in an important 84-run opening partnership of 84 runs with Fazal clearly playing second fiddle.
However, at the 30 over mark, a sudden rush of blood from Fazal and a terrible misunderstanding by the two saw Faiz Fazal getting run out by Travis Dean and make the long walk back to the dressing room. This wicket sparked what was perceived as a mini collapse which saw the three pillars of the Indian batting unit dismissed in quick succession.
Karun Nair, Manish Pandey, and skipper Naman Ojha were all dismissed in a quick span of 14 runs with the three managing just 9 runs between them. The most disappointing aspect of the whole ordeal was the simple fact that Naman Ojha, the skipper of the side was dismissed by Jon Holland in his very first delivery.
Sanju Samson then stitched an important partnership of 58 runs with the already set Akhil Herwadkar as the wicketkeeper-batsman managed an important yet sluggish 34 runs. At stumps, the Indians found themselves at 158/4, 108 runs adrift of the Australian total. However, with two days to play, it seems clear that the Indians will have to bat out of their skins to secure a draw at the very least.
India, 1st innings: 169 all out
Australia, 1st innings: 435 all out (H Cartwright 117; S Thakur 5/101)
India, 2nd innings: 158/4 (A Herwadkar 82*; J Holland 3/59)
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