India vs Australia A: Pant and Vihari's centuries help India take the day

Hanuma Vihari's steady knock and Rishabh Pant's counter-attack led the way for India after Shubman Gill and Mayank smash half-centuries

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India vs Australia A: Pant and Vihari's centuries help India take the day
Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari hit contrasting centuries to take India ahead of Australia A by 472 runs | BCCI/Twitter


With the lights taking full effect and the pink ball not doing much at the Sydney Cricket Ground, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant on Saturday showed what he brings to the table when on song.

It was only poetic justice that he flicked the last ball of the second day of the day-night warm-up game against Australia A to the deep mid-wicket boundary to bring up a 73-ball century. Pant smashed 22 runs in the final over of the day to reach his hundred.

At stumps, India`s score read 386/4, a lead of 472 runs with centurion Hanuma Vihari giving Pant (103*) company on an unbeaten 104. Vihari`s innings on the other hand was a complete contrast as he hit just 13 boundaries during his 194-ball knock.

Pant on his part hit six sixes and nine boundaries to send the host bowlers on a leather hunt.

For the hosts, while concussion substitute Mark Steketee scalped two wickets, Jack Wildermuth and Mitchell Swepson picked one apiece. It was a day to forget for the Australia A unit as they failed to match their efforts on the opening day when they sent the Indian batting back into the hut for a meagre 194.

Coming back to the Indian second essay, Vihari and Pant put on an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 147 before play ended for the day.

But the platform was set at the top with opener Mayank Agarwal (61) and number three Shubman Gill (65) scoring fluent fifties. Prithvi Shaw (3) was the only batsman who failed to create an impression and it will be almost next to impossible for him to find a place in the XI for the opening Test from December 17.

Riding on some quality strokeplay from Mayank and Gill, India were at 111/2 in 27 overs at the end of the first session. The second session saw Mayank reach his fifty while Vihari continued his gritty show.Just when it looked the two would stitch a big one, Mayank was sent back as he looked to hit one on the rise.

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane flattered to deceive as he was dismissed after scoring 38, but Pant and Vihari ensured that it was a fruitful session under lights going into the first Test.

(Brief Scores: India 194 and 386/4 (Vihari 104*, Pant 103*; Steketee 2/54) vs Australia A 108)


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