India’s spinners do the trick

A commanding display from India A’s spin attack played a large hand in an Indian win against Australia A today. An improved batting display from Australia’s second team saw them reach 4/182 with 10 overs to spare, but the quick loss of set batsmen Brad Hodge and Shane Watson exposed a fragile tail, and Australia’s eventual total of 213 all out was never likely to be enough.

All-rounder Tejinder Pal Singh was the pick of the bowlers for India A, with his 3/38 including two wickets to trigger the collapse, as well as Brad Haddin for 56. Piyush Chawla also took two wickets, while Jadeja grabbed the final pair of Tait and Cullen, as Australia A’s selection of four seam bowlers who all struggle with the bat came back to hurt them. Nevertheless, Australia A still performed better with the bat than in their opening match, thanks largely to another Brad Hodge half-century, well supported by Haddin and Shane Watson.

In chasing 214 to win, India A suffered an early hiccup as Brett Dorey dismissed Uthappa and Dhawan in quick succession in his 4th and 5th overs. Another strong innings from Gautam Ghambir turned things around however, and he and Venugopal Rao took the score past 100 without incident. It was the introduction of Dan Cullen that heralded a change in Australia’s fortunes, as he took two crucial wickets either side of a threatening Shaun Tait burst, and along with the economical Watson helped to restrict the run rate.

Watson added the scalp of Indian captain and top scorer Venugopal Rao to an impressive all-round game, and Australia A maintained a glimmer of hope as the required rate gradually rose. When Ben Hilfenhaus dismissed TP Singh, India still needed 35 off 40 balls, but a useful cameo from ‘keeper Partiv Patel took the Indians home with 8 balls to spare.

The Top End Series continues tomorrow, with Pakistan meeting one New Zealand team, while Australia faces the other in a 20/20 double-header.

Australia A 213 (48.4)
Brad Haddin 56 (75), Brad Hodge 56 (71)
Tejinder Pal Singh 3/38 (10), Piyush Chawla 2/38 (10)

India A win by 4 wickets

India A 6/216 (48.4)
Venugopal Rao 55 (81), Gautam Ghambir 41 (52)
Brett Dorey 2/31 (8), Dan Cullen 2/44 (9)

CricketWeb Man of the Match
Tejinder Pal Singh – 21 (46) & 3/38 (10)

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