Richardson, Doolan star in Australia A win
Australia A 7 for 252 (Doolan 96, Marsh 63, Kulkarni 3-41) beat India A 224 (Samson 81, Richardson 5-31) by 28 runs
A five-for from pacer Kane Richardson set up a 28-run win for Australia A against India A in the opening game of the quadrangular A-team one-day series. Earlier, a 116-run, fifth-wicket stand between Alex Doolan and Mitchell Marsh lifted a struggling Australia A innings to 7 for 252. Doolan missed his maiden List A hundred by four runs, while Marsh scored a brisk 63.
Richardson got the first breakthrough for Australia A, breaking an opening stand of 39 between Unmukt Chand and Robin Uthappa. However, the game turned in Australia A's favour during an eight-over period between the 12th and 20th overs, when India A lost five wickets for 19 runs. Marsh accounted for Manish Pandey in the 12th over and in the next one, Richardson dismissed Uthappa and Manoj Tiwary off successive balls. India A had limped to 4 for 84 in the 20th over, when Marsh got the wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Akshar Patel. He eventually finished with figures of 3 for 41.
India A looked to be slipping away but Sanju Samson's fighting half-century and his stands with the lower order kept the chase alive. Samson added a quick 45 with Parvez Rasool but Australia A managed to peg the scoring rate back after Rasool fell. The eighth-wicket partnership between Dhawal Kulkarni and Samson yielded 45 runs in 12.5 overs. India A went into the last five overs needing 48 off 30 with five overs and one wicket in hand. Samson took 17 runs off Marsh in one over, but his departure in the next brought the innings to a close at 224.
Australia A faced similar struggles after being put in to bat. Mohit Sharma, who joined the India A squad for the quadrangular series, and Kulkarni reduced Australia A to 3 for 41 within two overs. Phillip Hughes was caught behind off Mohit , while Kulkarni got rid of Cameron White for 15 and Chris Lynn for a duck. Doolan then shepherded the side's rebuilding effort, sharing an 80-run stand with Calum Ferguson. His rapid century stand with Marsh ensured that the innings did not lose momentum as the overs progressed. The two kept turning the strike over between the boundaries and then stitched together some big overs towards the end of the innings.
Richardson said the pitch at the Marrara Oval aided bowlers from both sides more than the track for the four-day games in Brisbane.
"The last two four-day games in Brisbane were quite tough on the bowlers and it was good to get up here and see some grass on the wicket," he said. "As their bowlers showed upfront, it was going to be tough work for the batsmen. We started pretty slow with the ball but once we got into it, I think the bounce helped us with a bit of movement."