Article

Gambhir ton boosts India A

16 February 2013 13:02

A century from Gautam Gambhir has India A in a strong position at stumps on day one of their three-day tour match against Australia.

Stand-in captain Gambhir opened the batting and stroked a superb 112 from 162 deliveries, hitting 13 fours and three sixes.

It helped India A to a total of 338-4 at stumps, with Rohit Sharma (77) and Manoj Tiwary (77 not out) also impressive with the bat.

Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty (3-69 off 16 overs) was the most potent bowler for the tourists, but the day was not so kind to fellow tweakers Nathan Lyon (0-97 off 20) and 19-year-old Ashton Agar (0-78 off 13) who came in for plenty of punishment.

Playing at the Guru Nanak College Ground in Chennai, India A made a bright start, putting on 67 runs for the first wicket.

It was a patient partnership as the likes of Mitchell Starc (0-36 off 16), Peter Siddle (0-30 off 14) and Moises Henriques (1-20 off 11) all bowled economically in the early stages.

Henriques claimed the breakthrough, with Jiwanjot Singh (24) the man to go when he edged to Shane Watson at slip.

A 128-run stand between Gambhir and Sharma followed, with the former smacking Agar for two sixes in his very first over.

Agar, who only made his first-class debut less than a month ago, was selected in Australia's touring party as a net bowler initially but after impressing in a tour match, the highly-rated youngster was kept on.

But he received a lesson from the experienced Gambhir, who has played 54 Tests and is battling to win his spot back in the team.

Gambhir eventually departed when he was caught by Watson in the slips, this time off Doherty, before Sharma and Tiwary got to work.

The Aussie quicks continued to toil for little reward with Doherty again claiming an important breakthrough when Sharma edged to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

And the Tasmanian added the scalp of Abhishek Nayar (four), caught by state team-mate Ed Cowan.

Tiwary and Muralidharen Gautam (34 not out) guided India to stumps, with no further wickets in the offing for the tourists.

Watson is Australia's captain for the match with injury doubts ruling out Michael Clarke (hamstring) and David Warner (thumb).

Play will resume on day two with a sporting declaration likely if Australia cannot make early inroads into their opponents.

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