Chennai: Manoj Tiwary staked a claim on a Test berth with a brilliant 129 as India 'A' powered to 451 all out against the Australians on the second day of the practice match at the Guru Nanak College Ground here, on Sunday.
Tiwary struck 18 fours and three sixes in his 187-ball stay at the crease, propelling himself into contention for the No.6 spot in India's Test team. The vital position currently has a lot a suitors such as Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahana (both in the squad for the first two Tests), along with Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu.
The visitors were bolstered by a big opening parternership between Shane Watson and Ed Cowan, but suffered a collapse when they slipped from 116-0 to finish the day at 131-4, still trailing by 320 runs.
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India resumed the day at 338 for four and Tiwary became the second centurion in the match after Gautam Gambhir's 112 on the first day.
India though made a shaky start as they lost Karnataka batsman Muralidharen Gautam (38) after adding just eight more runs to the overnight score.
Tiwary and Jalaj Saxena (30) made amends, stringing together a 76-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
But after Tiwary fell with the score at 422, the tail failed to wag and the side were bundled out for 451.
Australians in reply got off to an blistering start with a 116-run partnership for the first wicket between Shane Watson (84) and Ed Cowan (40).
Watson, who will be playing the series purely as a batsman, crunched 13 fours and a six in his blistering 87-ball innings.
The left-handed Cowan too was aggressive, lacing six fours in his 65-ball knock. However, the visitors lost four wickets in the space of seven overs to put them on the backfoot. Saurashtra left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhruv removed both the openers, while Madhya Pradesh off-spinner Jalaj Saxena accounted for the two southpaws Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja.
Dhruv and Saxena ensured that the Australians ended the second day four wickets down and 320 runs behind India 'A'.
INDIA A 1ST INNINGS (OVERNIGHT: 338-4)
M Tiwary c Doherty b Lyon 129
C Gautam c Wade b Siddle 38
Jalaj Saxena not out 30
R Dhurv c Khawaja b Agar 21
R Vinay Kumar c Cowan b Agar 0
MS Gony c Hughes b Agar 2
D Kulkarni c Cowan b Lyon 1
Extras (b-3, lb-6, nb-4) 13
Total (all out, 128.4 overs) 451
FOW: 5-346, (Gautam, 93.5 overs), 6-422 (Tiwary, 118.5), 7-446 (Dhurv, 123.2), 8-446 (Vinay Kumar, 123.3), 9-450 (Gony, 125.4), 10-451 (Kulkarni, 128.4).
Bowling: M Starc 20-6-44-0; P Siddle 18-5-40-1; M Henriques 16-4-30-1; N Lyon 30.4-5-113-2; X Doherty 24-2-108-3; A Agar 20-2-107-3.
AUSTRALIANS 1ST INNINGS
S Watson* c Gautam b Dhurv 84
E Cowan lbw b Dhurv 40
P Hughes st Gautam b Jalaj S Saxena 1
U Khawaja b Jalaj S Saxena 1
M Wade not out 3
M Henriques not out 0
Extras (nb-2) 2
Total (4 wickets; 36 overs) 131
FOW: 1-116 (Cowan, 22.4), 2-117 (Hughes, 23.1), 3-127 (Watson, 28.4), 4-127 (Khawaja, 29.6).
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 4-1-8-0; D Kulkarni 5-0-26-0; MS Gony 4-0-37-0; A Nayar 6-0-27-0; R Dhurv 9-2-19-2; J Saxena 8-4-14-2.