Hardik Pandya stood tall amid the ruins with an unbeaten 79 as India A collapsed to 169 for 9 on a rain-hit opening day of the second four-day Quadrangular Series match against Australia A here. Put in to bat by the host, Indians were undone by a top-order collapse and it took a fightback from the lower half to salvage the day to some extent.
Besides Pandya's 112-ball knock, which included nine fours and a six, the other notable Indian performance was from Jayant Yadav who scored a 69-ball 28 featuring four fours.
For Australia, Kane Richardson and Jackson Bird grabbed three wickets apiece. Australia A captain Joe Burns won the toss and elected to bowl first under overcast conditions.
Richardson (3 for 37) was the pick of the bowlers early on, striking first with the wicket of Faiz Fazal (0), who edged to Nic Maddinson at second slip. Karun Nair (1) followed, run-out by a direct hit from Hilton Cartwright to leave the tourist 2 for 11. The collapse that followed left India A in serious trouble at 4 for 11.
India A captain Naman Ojha (19) fell immediately after lunch, trapped lbw by Bird to give the quick his second wicket of the day.
Ojha and Sanju Samson (13) had set about negotiating their side out of a tricky position, but the latter’s innings didn’t last until lunch, as Cartwright switched ends for his second over and snuck one through the batsman’s defence to hit leg stump and claim a breakthrough.
The seventh-wicket stand of 78 between Jayant and Pandya steadied India’s rocking boat before Yadav was snared by Richardson.
India A: 169/9 in 66 overs (Hardik Pandya 79 not out; Kane Richardson 3-37).
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