Brisbane: In-form Naman Ojha struck a brave ton while No.10 batsman Umesh Yadav made 90 to not only pull India 'A' out of trouble but also give the visitors a valuable lead after the third day's play against Australia 'A' in the second unofficial Test at Allan Border Field, here today.
Ojha, who had scored a double ton and a century in the first match, hit 18 fours and three sixes in his 110-run innings to help India 'A' notch up 501 in response to the hosts' first innings score of 423 -- a lead of 78 runs. Starting on their overnight score of 165 for three in the four-day game, India 'A' slumped from 165 for three to 199 for five before Ojha (110) took charge and put up a 69-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu (40).
Aussie pacer Chadd Sayers (5/84), who had picked the first three wickets on Monday, continued his surge by sending overnight batsmen Manoj Tiwary (63) and Baba Aparajith (28) in the first session of play. A controlled 36 from Amit Mishra also gave the Indians power to fightback as Yadav recorded his career-best score to give the hosts a sizeable lead.
Yadav, who surprisingly looked assured in his stroke-making, took the attack to the opposition as he struck 11 fours and five sixes in his 66-ball knock and stitched a vital 88-run last-wicket partneship with medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah (16 not out).
New-ball bowler Ben Cutting (4/100) also made an impact to trouble the India 'A' middle-order as the medium-pacer got the all-important wickets of Ojha, Mishra, Anureet Singh (8) and Yadav but the damage had already been done. Aussie openers Phil Hughes (0) and Alex Doolan (0) had occupied the crease before bad light stopped play for the day as the two teams will try for a result on the final day's play after the first match ended in a high-scoring draw.
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