Pragyan Ojha picked up an impressive five-wicket haul as India ‘A’ bowled out Australia A for 268 before extending their lead to 154 runs by the end of third day’s play in the first unofficial cricket Test.
At the close of play, the hosts were steadily placed at 121 for three in their second innings at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.
Back in the mix after 18 months, the 28-year-old left-arm spinner Ojha, bowling with a remodelled action, picked up five for 85, while leg spinner Amit Mishra managed three for 55.
There was a wicket, too, for medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun.
Ojha’s scalp on Friday included the well-set Marcus Stoinis and Gurinder Sandhu, while Mishra picked up the important wicket of Peter Handscomb when he had the batsman stumped, besides sending back Matthew Wade and Andrew Fekete.
In reply, India A were served in their second essay by Abhinav Mukund (40) and skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (42). Mukund and Pujara hit four and five boundaries each, respectively, before getting out towards the fag end of the day’s play.
Both the wickets were taken by fast medium bowler Sandhu (2/13), who plays for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Opener Lokesh Rahul had got out to Travis Head after making a 45-ball 29. His knock was studded With four boundaries and a six.
For Australia A, middle-order batsman Handscomb top-scored with a 182-ball 91-run knock, hitting seven boundaries. Stoinis made 77 off 179 balls, and struck 10 fours and a six.
During their fifth-wicket partnership, Handscomb and Stoinis added 154 runs at just under three runs an over. It was the same pair that did the rebuilding job after Ojha three-wicket burst on Thursday.
However, there was no contribution from the other batsmen as the visitors’ innings folded up in 99.3 overs on the third day afternoon.
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