Palladino surprises tourists with bat
Australia A 362 for 4 dec and 141 for 6 (Smith 78, Wainwright 2-23) lead Derbyshire 269 for 3 dec (Palladino 106, Khawaja 56*) by 234 runs
Australia A endured a more testing second day to their tour of England, as Derbyshire nightwatchman Antonio Palladino reached a maiden first-class century and the visiting batsmen then stumbled to 141 for 6, a lead of 234.
There was comfort, however, in a brisk 78 from Steven Smith, batting a No. 3, as well as an unbeaten half-century from a member of the opposition - Usman Khawaja, who has played in six Tests for Australia, but has been given time away from the international set-up to work on his batting on the county circuit.
Australia A's bowlers would not have been pleased to see Derbyshire add more than 200 runs for the loss of two wickets, even if one of their own was at the other end for much of the day. Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird made solitary breakthroughs, before the county declared 97 runs behind. The batsmen then experienced far greater difficulty than had been the case on day one.
After Ed Cowan's first-innings century, Australia A made changes to the batting order, opening with Michael Klinger and wicketkeeper Tim Paine. Mark Footitt removed both in his opening spell and Peter Forrest fell for 8, before Smith and Mitchell Johnson put on 72 for the fourth wicket. They fell in consecutive overs and with David Wainwright picking up his second wicket, that of George Bailey for 2, shortly before the close, all three results remain possible on Sunday.
Such disarray was preceded by the sight of Palladino thumping his way to a century inside the first session. Palladino's previous highest score in first-class cricket was 66, made while playing for Essex against Durham in 2010. Resuming on 4 overnight, he extended his partnership with Wayne Madsen to 49, before Lyon struck in his second over of the day to remove Derbyshire's captain for 34.
Palladino was joined by Khawaja, playing against a few familiar faces, and hit 12 off an over from Lyon to move past fifty. The bowler repeated the trick a few overs later, taking just 33 balls to move from 52 to 100, bringing up the landmark with a single off Lyon shortly before lunch. He only added six more runs, as he and Khawaja recorded a hundred partnership before Palladino was bowled by Bird.
Khawaja made a patient half-century, from 82 balls, adding another 69 with Wes Durston before Derbyshire declared three down, allowing their bowlers to continue the good work.