RCA Centre of Excellence v Australians, Jaipur, 1st day September 27, 2008

Gajendra Singh spins Australians for 218

Cricinfo staff

RCA Centre of Excellence 38 for 2 trail Australians 218 (Katich 73, Gajendra Singh 5-58) by 180 runs

Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich added 54 for the first wicket © AFP

A day after Cricket Australia thanked the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for its hospitality, Gajendra Singh, a 20-year-old left-arm spinner, took five wickets to make the touring Australians feel at home in Jaipur. Only Simon Katich passed 50 in a total of 218 on a disappointing first day's competitive cricket for the visitors.

The Australians chose to bat first, and though Matthew Hayden and Katich had an opening partnership of 54, the rest of the batting order struggled against spin. Gajendra's 5 for 58 were a career-best. All of one first-class match old, he tested the Australian batting line-up and helped reduce them from 54 for 1 to 118 for 5. Hayden was trapped lbw for a 48-ball 16, Ricky Ponting, whose struggle against spin in India is well-documented, made 5 and Michael Clarke was bowled for 2. Shane Watson's 30 was the next best score after Katich who made 73 off 105 balls.

There was a little relief, however, when Brett Lee and Stuart Clark took a wicket apiece to leave RCA on 38 for 2 at stumps. The RCA openers, Shubhanshu Vijay and Vineet Saxena, had little clue against the Australian new-ball bowlers. Lee cleaned up Vijay first ball and Clark removed Saxena for a four-ball duck. Two former Indian players, Gagan Khoda and Venugopal Rao, made 18 each before the end of the day.