Canberra: Western Australian invitee Chris Rogers and his namesake John Rogers crafted a fine half-centuries to help ACT XI bounce back after India pacer Ishant Sharma ripped thro' the hosts top-order in a tour game at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday.
ACT XI were 292/8 at stumps on day two of the three-day tie in reply to visitor's 325/9 decl.
John Rogers batted sensibaly on his way to 190-ball 98 studded with 12 hits to the fence while the veteren Chris, who is tipped to replace the injured Aussie opener Matthew Hayden in the third Test at Perth, grabbed this occassion with an impressive 60 off 90 balls with five boundaries to enhance his selection prospects before conceding his wicket to Harbhajan for LBW.
Ishant's probing first spell which yielded him three quick wickets was the only silver lining in an otherwise insipid bowling display by the tourists.
Resuming at the overnight score of 10/0, ACT openers Chris Rogers and fringe New South Wales player Ed Cowan held the Indians at bay with an opening partnership of 41 before Sharma struck in his first over of the day.
With his first ball, Sharma found the inside edge of Cowan's bat and the ball ricocheted onto the stumps to have the opener dismissed for a watchful 14, from 56 balls.
Three balls later, Sharma enjoyed some overdue fortune with the umpires, trapping Jonathon Dean lbw for a duck when he got the ball to jag back into the new batsman's pads as the ACT slid to 2-45.
Chris Rogers and ACT captain Mark Higgs then added 38 before Sharma struck again in his fourth over of the day, dismissing the latter for one, caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni after edging an attempted pull.
JW Rogers, who is yet to play first-class cricket, taking cue from his namesake continued to defy Indians. He was at ease with both spin and pace. This youngster paced up his innings nicely. He was involved in two useful partnerships.
He knitted 74 runs with R Starr (27) for the sixth wicket stand and then added a turtle-esque 60-run stand with Crosthwaite (27) in 25 overs. Rogers was tad unlucky to miss century his maiden century on big stage when he slashed RP straight to VRV stationed at deep-point.
Ishant was the pick of Indian bowlers with three for 26 while RP, who was brought late into the attack took two wickets. Harbhajan, Sehwag and Pathan claimed a wicket apiece.
Brief Score (D-2):
India 325/9 decl Vs Australian Capitol Territery (ACT) XI 292/8 (John Rogers 98, Chris Rogers 60
ThatsCricket (with inputs from AFP)