Bawne comes up with a resolute knock

The batsman's unbeaten 91 helps India-A take a narrow 31-run lead.

Ankit Bawne plays a shot against Australia A in Bengaluru on Monday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

A gritty knock from Ankit Bawne (91 n.o., 159b, 6x4, 3x6) helped India-A gain a slender 31-run first-innings lead over Australia-A, on the second day of the first unofficial Test at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday. At close of play, Australia-A had reached 42 for one in its second essay.

Resuming on 41 for no loss, India-A lost Mayank Agarwal in the fourth over. The in-form Mayank poked at pacer Michael Neser, and edged it to the wicket-keeper. His partner R. Samarth fell leg-before to left-arm spinner Jon Holland soon after.

Poor judgement

Captain Shreyas Iyer was taken out cheaply for 3, when he shouldered arms to a length ball outside off from Neser. Shreyas did not expect the ball to reverse inwards, and lost his off-stump.

Disastrous calling between A. Easwaran and Bawne cost India-A its fourth wicket. After pushing the ball to cover, Easwaran and Bawne both took off, before hesitating and stopping midway. Marnus Labuschagne swooped in and threw down the stumps to catch Easwaran well short.

All-rounder K. Gowtham hit a few pleasing shots, before chopping one from Holland onto the timber. As wickets continued to tumble, Bawne stayed calm at the other end. The Australia-A speedsters attempted a series of bouncers to unsettle Bawne, but he remained unaffected.

Attacking

When he was left with only last man Ankit Rajpoot for company, the Maharashtra batsman had no option but to attack. He lofted Holland for two big straight sixes to move close to a century. Rajpoot, however, was run-out, leaving Bawne stranded on 91. It was a second-successive near-miss for Bawne, who made 80 in his previous first-class fixture, against South Africa-A.

Bawne was, nevertheless, satisfied with his effort. “The way I got out on 80 in the previous match annoyed me, because I played a bad shot and gave it away. But I’m pleased with today’s knock. I wanted to bat through the innings and help get us the lead, and I managed to do that,” the 25-year-old said.

The scores

Australia-A — 1st innings: 243.

India-A — 1st innings: R. Samarth lbw Holland 25, Mayank Agarwal c Carey b Neser 47, A. Eswaran run out 36, Shreyas Iyer b Neser 3, Ankit Bawne (not out) 91, K.S. Bharat b Holland 5, K. Gowtham b Holland 31, Kuldeep Yadav lbw Neser 18, Mohammed Siraj c Labuschagne b Dogget 5, Navdeep Saini c&b Neser 0, Ankit Rajpoot run out 1; Extras (b-1, lb-5, nb-6): 12; Total (in 83.1 overs): 274.

Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-92, 3-107, 4-116, 5-127, 6-178, 7-225, 8-236, 9-261.

Australia-A bowling: Chris Tremain 13-3-39-0, Brendan Dogget 18-2-72-1, Michael Neser 20-5-61-4, on Holland 29.1-3-89-3, Travis Head 3-0-7-0.

Australia-A — 2nd innings: Kurtis Patterson c Bharat b Siraj 13, Usman Khawaja (batting) 16, Travis Head (batting) 13; Total (for one wkt. in 16 overs): 42.

Fall of wicket: 1-14.

India-A bowling: Siraj 4-0-20-1, Saini 4-2-9-0, Gowtham 3-1-11-0, Rajpoot 4-3-1-0, Kuldeep 1-0-1-0.