India A 169 and 4 for 158 (Herwadkar 82*, Samson 34*, Holland 3-59) trail Australia A 435 (Cartwright 117, Maddinson 81, Thakur 5-101, Jayant 3-95) by 108 runs
India A blew away a strong opening partnership by losing four quick wickets and ended the third day of their four-day game still 108 runs behind Australia A with six wickets remaining in their second innings.
Australia A, who began the day on 5 for 319 in their first innings, piled on 435 for a first-innings lead of 266 runs, with Hilton Cartwright, who was unbeaten on 99 overnight, completing his century. He eventually fell for 117, caught behind off Shardul Thakur, who completed his tenth first-class five-wicket haul and first outside India. He finished with figures of 5 for 101.
India A then lost their first four wickets in a cluster - three to Jon Holland, the left-arm spinner, and one to a run out - to finish the day on 4 for 158, with opener Akhil Herwadkar unbeaten on 82 and Sanju Samson giving him company on 34. Holland had 3 for 59 after 15 overs.
He could have had four had he not dropped Faiz Fazal off his own bowling. That was one of four reprieves handed to the India A openers during the course of a chancy 84-run partnership. Herwadkar was dropped twice, first by Nic Maddinson at first slip, and then on 53, when Jackson Bird put down a tough chance at leg slip. The dropped catches apart, Australia A also missed a run-out opportunity.
India A's opening partnership ended with a chaotic run-out - a throw at the striker's end missed the stumps before Travis Dean, backing up, hit the other end to catch Fazal short of his ground. Fazal had played second fiddle to Herwadkar, contributing 29 off 88 balls with two fours and a six. Thereafter, Holland struck three times. First, Karun Nair was trapped lbw, before Manish Pandey was caught by Beau Webster, and finally, Naman Ojha was caught by Bird with the score having touched 100.
Herwadkar and Samson then came together for an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 58. Samson faced 76 balls for his unbeaten 34, while Herwadkar had faced 188 balls and struck six fours and three sixes.
When the day began, Cartwright added 37 more to Australia's overnight total with Sam Whiteman. After he was dismissed, having faced 193 balls and struck 15 fours and a six, Whiteman batted on. Whiteman, who was unbeaten on 9 overnight, raised a half-century. His 100-ball 51, along with contributions from Kane Richardson (19) and No. 10 Jackson Bird (24), ensured that the lead swelled.