India A consolidate after early stutter
India A 6 for 304 (Tiwary 83, N Ojha 82*, Jiwanjot 56) v Australia A
Fifties from Manoj Tiwary, Naman Ojha and Jiwanjot Singh guided India A to 6 for 304 on the opening day of the four-day game against Australia A in Brisbane. Tiwary, playing his first first-class game since February 2013, struck 83 before Ojha stitched together useful partnerships with the lower middle order on his way to an unbeaten 82.
India A chose to bat and were given a quiet start by openers Robin Uthappa and KL Rahul. The pair added 35 in nearly 10 overs but three wickets in the space of six overs soon reduced India A to 3 for 43. Rahul was the first to go, trapped lbw by Ben Cutting, while Mitchell Marsh accounted for Uthappa (23) and Ambati Rayudu (0).
Tiwary and Jiwanjot Singh then stemmed the fall of wickets with a 134-run fourth-wicket stand. Tiwary was the more fluent of the two, taking fours off James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh before hitting legspinner Cameron Boyce for the first six of the innings, soon after reaching his fifty. Jiwanjot reached his landmark with a four off Cutting but the bowler soon broke the stand, sending Jiwanjot back for 56. Three overs later, Tiwary was stumped off Boyce.
Ojha then stepped up to craft two solid partnerships. He first added 63 with Karun Nair, who made 26. Once Nair fell, with just over 10 overs to go, a 50-run seventh-wicket partnership with Dhawal Kulkarni saw India through to the close of play. Ojha's unbeaten 82 came off 115 balls and included 12 fours and a six.
For Australia A, Cutting, Marsh and Boyce picked up two wickets apiece although Cutting went at more than four an over. Australia A captain James Faulkner, who was wicketless in his 10 overs, also introduced the part-time medium-pace of Peter Forrest into the attack for a couple of overs as Nair and Ojha were building their stand.
The India A batsmen were treated to a period of short-pitched stuff from the Australia A quicks and Cutting explained it was influenced by the help from the pitch and the stage of the game.
"Short-pitched bowling tends to work a lot out here because of the variable bounce," Cutting said. "All the bowlers tried to do that today and it certainly worked for us in patches. We'll see to use it again in the second innings.
"We bowled fuller in the morning session and the decision to bowl short was because of the state of the game. Early on, we want to try and use the new ball, get a few nicks, pick up a few lbws and then bring your lengths back as the ball gets a little softer."