Internet Desk: Steve Smith led Australian cricket team have started their tour of India in style as they thumped (Board President’s ) XI by 103 runs in the one-off practice match at Chennai today.
For the Aussies, middle order batsman Marcus Stoinis played a fiery knock o 76 runs in just 60 deliveries to help the visitors to post a mammoth of a total of 347 for 7 after Smith’s decision of batting first. Skipper Steve Smith (55), Travis Head (65) and David Warner (64) backed him well too.
Young Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar was the only star for his side with the ball as he took 2 wickets for 23 runs in 8 overs
In reply, young left-arm spinner Ashton Agar returned with figures of 4 for 44 as Australia bowled out BP XI for 244 in 48.2 overs.
The home team, consisting mostly of rookies, was never in the hunt despite a 79-run partnership for the second wicket between opener Shreevats Goswami (43) and Mayank Agarwal (42).
After the early exit of opener Rahul Tripathi (7), Goswami and Agarwal struggled to force the pace against some accurate bowling from the Australians.
The duo took 15 overs to add 79 runs as the required run-rate kept climbing.
Agarwal, who was dropped early in his innings by Glenn Maxwell, fell for 42 while going for a big hit against leg- spinner Adam Zampa, caught in the deep by Warner.
The BP XI’s innings floundered after Agarwal’s exit as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Goswami followed soon, bowled by Stoinis.
Nitish Rana, who had a good IPL season for Mumbai Indians, showed some sense of urgency and struck three fours but was run-out in a mix-up with captain Gurkeerat Mann.
Shivam Chaudhary, Mann, Govind Poddar and Sundar were dismissed in the space of 18 runs as Australia’s took hold over the game.
There was a big cheer from the spectators when local lad Sundar walked in, after his heroics with the ball. The tall left-hander struck a couple of boundaries but was caught by Agar when going for a big shot off Kane Richardson’s (2/36) bowling.
There was some late resistance from Akshay Karnewar (40) and Kushang Patel (41 not out), who indulged in lusty hitting to take the score past 200.
Besides Agar and Richardson, a replacement for the injured Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner, Zampa and Stoinis got picked up one wicket each for Australia.
Pacemen Pat Cummins bowled only four overs as the Australians apparently thought it fit to conserve his energies after his exertions in the Bangladesh Test series.