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Mike Neser

Neser, Holland peg back India A to keep Australia A in the game

Ind A v Aus A, 1st unofficial Test, report

Hit For Six!
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Australia A bounced commendably on day two of the first four-day game against India A in Bangalore, bowling their opponents out for 274 before extracting a slight lead by the close of play.

Michael Neser and Jon Holland were the stars for the tourists, taking seven wickets between them to restrict India to a first-innings lead of 31 runs. That India managed to gain any sort of lead was down to Ankit Bawne who scored a sublime 91 not out.

Mohammed Siraj had bowled beautifully on the first day, taking career-best figures 8/59 to keep the visiting team down to just 243 despite Usman Khawaja's excellent 127. India had resumed play at 41/0 but openers Mayank Agarwal and R Samarth fell quickly and wickets continued to fall regularly throughout the day. At the close Australia were batting at 42/1, Khawaja and Travis Head the unbeaten batsmen at 16 and 13 respectively.

Agarwal departed first, falling to Neser for 47 - an addition of 16 runs to his overnight score. Samarth scored 15 runs on the second day before falling for 25 to Holland's left-arm spin.

The right-arm seam of Neser then accounted for captain Shreyas Iyer for just three. Abhimanyu Easwaran was run out for 36 to compound India's woes before Holland captured the wicket of Srikar Bharat for just five as India slipped to 127/5.

Bawne then strung together two sizeable partnerships of 51 and 47 runs with K Gowtham (31) and Kuldeep Yadav (18) respectively.

Once they were dismissed Bawne received minimal support from the other end, but he farmed the strike magnificently to take the score comfortably past Australia's first innings total before the Ankit Rajpoot, the last man, was run out.

Australia had 16 overs to negotiate till stumps, and they lost the wicket of Kurtis Patterson to Siraj for 13, caught behind. Khawaja (16*) and Travis Head (13*) then played cautiously to steer Australia to an 11-run lead without further loss.

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