Mitchell Marsh slammed a double century while Sam Whiteman scored a century to turn the game in Australia A’s favour after being left on 126 for 6 at the end of second day. The duo took the advantage away from the visitors as they helped their team to a 47-run lead at the end of Day 3 in Brisbane. With India A conceding the advantage the match heads towards a draw with one final day of play left. Australia A were 522 for 9 with Cameron Boyce (16*) and Chadd Sayers (3*) still at the crease at stumps on the pen-ultimate day.
Earlier, trailing by 349 runs with four wickets in hand the hosts had an uphill task ahead of them when they took guard on the third morning.
Marsh took on the spinners and especially launched Pragyan Ojha over the ropes on either side of the wicket as he joined forces with Whiteman to salvage the home team’s innings. The pair had taken Australia A to 250 for six at lunch.
Both batsmen looked comfortable against the Indian attack and piled on runs through the day. Marsh cruised ahead as they continued to counter the India A bowlers and brought up his century by pulling Dhawal Kulkarni to mid-wicket. Whiteman then launched Jasprit Bumrah over fine-leg for six as he garnered 11 runs off the next over. Later, the Australia A wicketkeeper-batsman too brought up his century with a boundary off Umesh Yadav.
They had taken the team to 373 for six at the second session and continued to milk the India A attack as the visitors struggled for a breakthrough. But with the hosts within sniffing distance of India A’s first innings score, Whiteman departed for 174. Taking the aerial route to Karun Nair he was caught by Bumrah near the ropes.
With Australia A on 470 for seven, Ben Cutting joined Marsh in the middle. Marsh continued to attack Ojha with gusto and smashed him over mid-wicket to get to his double-century with a six. Cutting later returned to the pavilion after adding 11 runs with the home-team comfortably placed on 500. Bumrah who had claimed three wickets on the second day, castled the lower-order batsman for 11 to claim his fourth wicket towards the fag end of the day.
Three overs later, Marsh too made his way back to the dressing room. While on 211, sent back by Boyce, the lower-order batsman was run out, bringing to end a magnificent effort. With Sayers, Boyce then saw the team through the remaining overs of the day.
Day 1: India A 304/6 in 89.1 overs (M Tiwary 83, N Ojha 82*, J Singh 56, M Marsh 2/46, B Cutting 2/65, Boyce 2/84)
Day 2: India A 475/7 decl. in 130 overs (N Ojha 219, C Boyce 4/146); Aus A 126/6 in 44.4 overs (P Hughes 34, J Bumrah 3/42, D Kulkarni 1/10)
Day 3: Aus A 522/9 in 138 overs (M Marsh 211, S Whiteman 174)