India ~~A~~ need 365 runs on final day to win

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Indian openers Robi Uthappa (67) and Gautam Gambhir (40) gave India 'A' good start in the second innings but the visitors would have to bat out the entire fourth day of the Top End Series to save the match against their Australian opponents.

In response to Australia A's first innings total of 461 for four declared, Indian A were all out for 254. In their second essay, the hosts declared their innings at 274 for seven and India 'A' were 117 for no loss, hoping to bat out the entire fourth and final day to save the match.

And for a result, India 'A' will require a further 365 runs to win on the final day, while for Australia A, it's a matter of taking 10 wickets.

Earlier, India's first innings folded for 254 with overnight batsman Parthiv Patel scoring 43 off 66 balls. Mitchell Johnson claimed four for 45, while Shaun Tait and Shane Watson grabbed three each.

In Australia's second innings, opener Phil Jacques, who had slammed a scintillating 240 in the first innings, struck a swasbuckling 117 off just 103 balls that included seven hits to the fence and five sixes. The other opener Chris Rodgers also slammed a belligerent 64 as Australia A declared their second innings on 274 in just 48 overs losing seven wickets.

Piyush Chawla was the pick of the Indian bowlers, returning a figure of 13-0-55-2.

Set a victory target of 482, both the Indian openers played positively and thrived on the largesse of the butterfinger slip fielders as India reached 117 for no loss in 33 overs.

They now have the onerous job of batting out the entire final day tomorrow to save the match.

Uthappa was lucky to survive twice and Chris Rodgers was the culprit who spilled the sitter off an outside edge.

The opener soon checked himself and played a flurry of shots, including a towering six off Daniel Cullen over the long on boundary. He was unbeaten on 67 from 114 balls that included five boundaries and two sixes.

Gambhir was batting on 40 off 86 balls with four boundaries in it.

Brief score: Austrlia A 4/461(dec) and 7/274(dec) India 'A' 254 all out and 117 for no loss

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