India A v Australia A - Four-Day
Marsh posts ton to boost Australia A
Allrounder strokes unbeaten 113 before making return to bowling crease, with India A clash hanging in the balance at stumps on day two
9 September 2018, 09:50 PM AEST
Australia A captain Mitch Marsh has sent a timely reminder of his value ahead of what looms as a challenging Test summer, capitalising on a turning Indian wicket with his fourth first-class century in 10 months.
The Australians then claimed three final-session wickets after an early onslaught from the India A openers on the second day of their four-day clash in Alur.
The hosts went to stumps on 3-223, trailing by 123 runs after Australia A were dismissed for 346 in the opening session.
CENTURY FOR MITCH MARSH! The Australia A skipper brings it up off 192 balls as the visitors reach 7-321 early on day two against India A in Alur. pic.twitter.com/6yd1tWdiGr— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 9, 2018
Marsh pushed on from his overnight tally of 86 to his eighth first-class hundred, finishing unbeaten on 113 from 204 balls having struck 16 fours and a six.
The allrounder's subsequent return to the bowling crease for the first time in a competitive match since undergoing ankle surgery over the winter will have also encouraged national selectors.
The panel is set to convene this week to pick the squad for the upcoming Pakistan Test series in the UAE, where Marsh's ability to be an effective third or even second seamer could be crucial.
After Michael Neser (44 off 114 balls) was stumped in the second over of the day, the rest of the Australian tail quickly followed as wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav took the final three wickets to claim 5-91 off his 27 overs.
Here's the moment Marsh brought up his century! pic.twitter.com/gndGcmhI0d— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 9, 2018
Australia A used seven different bowlers before the tea break as India A's opening pair of Abhimanyu Easwaran (86 off 165 balls) and Ravikumar Samarth (83 off 126 balls) got their side off to a strong start.
Samarth was the more aggressive of the pair, reaching his half-century off just 69 balls while Eswaran took a comparatively sedate 116 deliveries for the milestone.
The duo's first-wicket stand reached 174 before left-arm spinner Ashton Agar (1-41 from 23 overs) finally broke through as Samarth was trapped lbw.
Eight balls later, Marnus Labuschagne removed Eswaran with a direct-hit run out before Mitch Swepson (1-61 from 17 overs) had Ankit Bawane caught by Matthew Renshaw for 13 as stumps approached.
India A skipper Shreyas Iyer (30 not out) and Shubman Gill (six not out) ensured there was no further damage before the close.
While Agar and Swepson were the only wicket takers, pacemen Chris Tremain (0-10 from eight overs) and Neser (0-16 off six) were both economical.
Batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Jon Holland, Australia A's two standout performers from their 98-run victory over India A in their first game, were both rested for this match. Khawaja and left-arm quick Joel Paris both flew home on Saturday.
Peter Handscomb is taking the gloves in this match after wicketkeeper Alex Carey also departed the tour early for the birth of his first child.
Australia A: Renshaw, Patterson, Head, Handscomb (wk), M. Marsh (capt), Labuschagne, Agar, Nesar, Tremain, Swepson, Doggett, Holland (12th man)— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
India A: Samarth, Easwaran, Iyer (capt), Bawane, Gill, Bharat (wk), Chahar, Gowtham, Yadav, Nadeem, Gurbani, Panchal (12th man)— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2-5 September v India A
8-11 September v India A