The Tri Nations A Series Game 2 saw India A take on Australia A but it was the Australian team that walked away with greater satisfaction at the lunch interval even thought India A raised a rearguard action that provided the Australian team that lost to New Zealand A yesterday at least a moderate challenge.
Shaun Tait pulled away from Australia earlier in the year eluding to depression brought on by mental and physical exhaustion. It was a telling blow given that Tait was one for the future and speculation was rife that this was perhaps the end of the road for him and his future with Australian cricket. However, his presence in the Australia A team has not only been heartening but also, strong as he struck at the heart of the India A line up in the morning.
India A were on the back foot straightaway in their first match of the tri nation tournament reduced to five for the fall of two wickets as opener Robin Uthappa and Suresh Raina fell to Tait’s accuracy with the new ball. Tait trapped Uthappa in front of the stumps and Raina felt to a faulty technique, leaving enough gap for his wicket to be snared easily. But he was not the only batsman at fault for failing to play straight. Further blows were dealt with similar dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik, these by way of Ashley Noffke. Tait finished the innings with three for seventy-seven from his nine overs while Noffke was rewarded with four for thirty-nine.
Tottering at sixty-seven for seven in the twenty-third, it appeared India A would not even be able to reach the 109 that Australia A only managed to make against New Zealand A in the first game yesterday. But Yousuf Pathan stood by unfluttered by the mayhem that preceded his presence and along with Abhishek Nayyar put up the partnership that needed to see India A get anywhere near 200.
Pathan’s fifty-four from from sixty-nine balls was the cornerstone for India getting to 207. Nayyar provided the blows required in his thirty runs from forty-eight balls that included one six. India A not only managed to fight to the last over but also, pass the 200 mark that seemed unlikely when they threatened to fold at the half innings mark.
Australia A had other designs. The opening partnership of 129 provided by the openers seemed sufficient to demoralize the India A team who could only watch on helplessly as the visitors made the better start of the two teams that made victory facile. Luke Ronchi, in particular, led the way with a fine century to his name, while his opening partner PJ Hughes making a half century for himself.
Only rain could have intervened the one way traffic that the match seemed to be heading towards. However, rain turned into deluge very quickly and instead of resumption, the calculators were out. But the reading held only further disappointment for the forgettable day that was India A’s. Australia won by twenty-three runs after the revised target, ending what was a rather day at the office for India A. Australia A though have redeemed themselves after their shambolic outing against New Zealand A yesterday. India A need to find it in their depths now.