India 'A' beat Australia 'A' in Top End Series

Published: Saturday, July 8, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Piyush Chawla and TP Singh shared five wickets as India 'A' restricted their Australian counterparts to 213 and later Venugopal Rao led from the front hitting a patient fifty to take the visitors to a comfortable four-wicket win in a tour match of the Top End Series at the Marrara Cricket Ground in Darwin today.

India 'A' reached the target with 1.2 overs to spare.

Australia 'A' captain Brad Haddin won the toss and elected to bat.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi made the first breakthrough for India when he dismissed Phil Jacques for 17.

Next man in Mark Cosgrove (1) also did not last long as he hit the ball straight to Piyush Chawla at mid off and took off for a suicide run. Chawla made no mistake and a direct hit by the Indian spinner left Australia A at 52 for two.

The Aussie innings got some stability when Brad Hodge joined Haddin at the crease and the duo batted sensibly to steady the ship for the hosts until India struck again through RP Singh, who trapped Haddin for 56.

Next to follow was Travis Birt, who contributed just one run before Chawla got him caught by Ravinder Jadeja at the short extra cover.

Shane Watson was the lone face of Australian resistence after Hodge departed -- bowled by Singh -- in the 40th over. Watson made 40 but got no support from the lower order as the hosts were bundled out for 213 with eight ball to be bowled.

In reply, India 'A' did not have the best of starts as opener Robin Uthappa (15) was caught behind by Haddin off the bowling of Brett Dorey.

Gautam Gambhir, who hit a century against Pakistan 'A' in the last match, once again looked in good touch as he made a 52-ball 41 studded with four boundaries before being trapped leg before by Daniel Cullen in the 20th over.

However, Venugopal Rao (55) steadied the Indian innings and got able support from middle order batsmen TP Singh (21) and Reetinder Singh Sodhi (26) as India recorded their third consecutive win in the series.

Breif Scores:

Australia A: 213 all out in 48.4 overs (Brad Haddin 56, Brad Hodge 56, TP Singh 3/38)

India A: 216 in 48.4 overs (Venugopal Rao 55, Gautam Gambhir 41)

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