Brisbane, July 7: Naman Ojha hit his career best first-class score of 219 not out to power India A into a commanding position against Australia A here on the second day of the four-day match at Allan Border Field here today.
Ojha hit 219 not out off 250 balls with 29 boundaries and eight sixes. Thanks to his knock, India A posted 475/9 declared in 130 overs. At stumps on day two, Australia A were reeling at 126/6.
The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman from Madhya Pradesh went past his previous first-class highest of 214 not out, today. The 30-year-old Ojha is playing in his 100th first-class game.
India A started the day at 304/6 and runs flowed quickly. Ojha, who was 82 not out overnight, brought up his century with a six and his brisk 99-run partnership with Dhawal Kulkarni ended when Kulkarni holed out for 33 off the bowling of Cameron Boyce (4/146 off 30 overs).
Boyce struck again in his next over, dismissing Umesh Yadav for a duck. Moises Henriques (1/30 off 19 overs) followed shortly with his first wicket for the match as Pragyan Ojha (4) edged it to Sam Whiteman.
Ojha's impressive innings continued and reached his 200-run milestone with another big six off the last ball of the first session, seeing India A to lunch at 9/450.
The tourists put on another 25 runs after the break before declaring at 9/475. Ojha finished 219no (from 250 balls, his highest first-class score) with Jasprit Bumrah also unbeaten on 7.
In reply, it was a shaky start for the Australia A top order. Alex Doolan went early for 12 thanks to a sharp catch in close by Lokesh Rahul off the bowling of Bumrah, and Australia A went to tea at 1/51.
Australia lost five wickets in the day's last session with Peter Forrest (16), Phillip Hughes (34), captain James Faulkner (1), Henriques (4) and Chris Lynn (20) all departing in quick succession. Bumrah was the pick of the India A bowlers, finishing the day with figures of 3/42.
At the close of play, the not out batsmen for Australia A are Mitchell Marsh (18) and Sam Whiteman (13).
India A 475/9 in 130 overs declared (Naman Ojha 219 not out, Manoj Tiwary 83, Jiwanjot Singh 56, Cameron Boyce 4/146, Ben Cutting 2/104, Mitchell Marsh 2/54) Vs Australia A 126/6 in 44.4 overs (Phil Hughes 34, Chris Lynn 20, Jasprit Bumrah 3/42)