Australia A v India A

Young allrounders take big strides in Brisbane

Tasmania's Beau Webster and WA's Hilton Cartwright were outstanding for Australia A on day two against India A

Adam Burnett at Allan Border Field, Brisbane

16 September 2016, 05:55 PM AEST

Two days ago, Beau Webster and Hilton Cartwright had a combined total of one match for Australia A between them.

The solitary cap belonged to Webster, the Tasmanian, who made his bow for Australia's next-in-line last week against the same opposition – India A – at the same venue – Allan Border Field.

Webster made 11 and 30 and took 0-14 with his off-breaks in a debut perhaps best remembered for a stunning pull shot for four that was Ponting-esque in its execution.

Webster's delightful pull shot

Western Australian Cartwright, meanwhile, had made his name via a couple of big-hitting performances for the Cricket Australia XI in the Matador Cup last summer, a maiden Sheffield Shield hundred for the Warriors in March, and more recently with a pair of fifties for the National Performance Squad in Townsville.

Today, after what's shaping as a match-defining stand of 152 for the fifth wicket in front of national selector Trevor Hohns, the duo made the most significant strides yet of their burgeoning careers.

Cartwright's 99 not out continued what's been a breakthrough 12 months or so for the allrounder.

Clinical Cartwright strikes 99 for Aus A

Boasting a physique more resembling a rugby player than a cricketer, the 24-year-old gives the ball an almighty thump, but it was his placement today, particularly through the cover region from both spin and pace, that was the highlight of an innings that dragged Australia A from a precarious 4-128 to a dominant 5-319 at the close.

"We just spoke about playing straight and hitting the bad balls," Cartwright said after play. "It's really obvious, cliché stuff but it was a nice wicket out there and we kept things really simple.

"Going out in slightly pressured situations always develops your game much more than easy situations so I felt that my processes I'd worked out (from his maiden hundred) really clicked into play today."

Cartwright scores his runs at a healthy clip – his 50 came up from 70 balls – but he doesn't appear hurried.

Young bats hand Aus A healthy lead

He was even unperturbed by the fact he was one short of his milestone at stumps, observing simply: "I'm sure I'm not the only bloke whose been 99 not out overnight, and I don't think I'll be the last."

He benefited from starting his innings in the middle session when the ball was older and the sun had baked the pitch nicely, but his was the textbook No.6 innings; a counter-punching, tide-turning performance that could be the making of the allrounder.

"I certainly got a lot of confidence out of last year," he said. "That's the biggest thing for a lot of players when they have a breakout year – it's what good things you can take out of your innings and today I felt like I did exactly what I did well last season, and kept building on my game."

Webster meanwhile, was in before lunch and played second fiddle initially to a blazing Nic Maddinson, but upon the New South Welshman's departure, he and Cartwright quickly came to be in sync.

Maddinson entertains with fluent 81

The 22-year-old must be among the tallest batsmen in Australian cricket and he used his height to good advantage against the off-spin of Jayant Yadav, taking a giant stride down the pitch and sweeping aggressively and regularly.

Webster made two Shield hundreds last summer and looked set for a third in first-class cricket today before he was undone by the second new ball, but his role in Australia A's dominance certainly won't have gone unnoticed.

"I thought he batted beautifully," Cartwright said after play. "He actually got the stiff end of it because he seemed to be facing all the good bowling and I was getting a lot of the bad bowling.

"He stuck in there really well and he got a good one there with the new ball."

Rangy Webster notches half-century

Cartwright will resume his innings tomorrow in search of the single that will turn a memorable Australia A debut into a dream one.

After play, he received some timely counsel from Australia A coach Mike Hussey.

"He came and shook my hand, and so did a few of the other guys," Cartwright smiles. "He told me to write down a couple of notes when I get home tonight, just so I can remember what I did well and what I can work on in the future."

And if today's any measure, that future is a particularly bright one. 

Meg Lanning Steve Smith