Aussie pacers dominate after batsmen pile up 505
Chandigarh: The Australian pace trio of Ben Hilfenhaus (three for 28), Mitchell Johnson (one for 20) and rookie Peter George (two for 15) bowled to a disciplined line and length to reduce Board President`s XI to 143 for six at stumps, on the second day of their three-day warm-up tie, at the Sector-16 stadium, in Chandigarh.
The Australians piled up 505, courtesy a brilliant century from Marcus North. North punished all the Board President`s XI bowlers as he scored 124 in only 128 deliveries before retiring. His innings was studded with 19 boundaries and two sixes.
When the home team batsmen came out to bat, the Australian pacers put up a better performance than their Indian counterparts. Suddenly the track that was termed "lifeless" by Board President`s XI captain Gautam Gambhir looked like having a lot of pace and bounce.
By the 15th over, Board President`s XI were reduced to 53 for five. Then it was Piyush Chawla (64 batting)and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (14)stemmed the rot with a 37-run sixth wicket partnership. Then Chawla along with S Sreesanth (6 batting) added 53 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand. Chawla hit nine fours and two sixes in his 73-ball knock.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir would have liked to get some serious batting practice before the first Test but was out scoring only eight when he edged a short ball from Hilfenhaus to wicketkeeper Tim Paine after scoring only eight.
Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for nought when he was caught by Shane Watson off Hilfenhaus` bowling.
Gambhir`s Delhi teammate Shikhar Dhawan hit three boundaries in his knock of 17 before he edged a George delivery to Paine behind stumps.
Saurashtra youngster Cheteshwar Pujara (9) who has made it to the national squad for the Test series was cleaned up Johnson as he couldn`t handle the pace. Pujara`s 42-minute stay at the wicket was sheer struggle as he faced 28-deliveries during this period.
Saurabh Tiwary, who has enjoyed lot of success in the Twenty20 format scored 15 before he became George`s second victim handing Paine his third catch of the innings.
Then Wriddhiman and Chawla steadied the ship for some time before Wriddhiman edged one to Paine off Hilfenhaus with the scoreboard reading 90 for six. Then Chawla hit a few lusty blows off spinners Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith to take the score to 143 for six.
Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 19/1, Indian bowlers including Sreesanth and Pragyan Ojha bowled well, with skipper Ricky Ponting (42) falling to the left-arm spinner early without any addition to his overnight score.
Ponting was beaten by a quicker deliver from Ojha and he tasted success in the same over when he dismissed Ponting`s deputy, Michael Clarke (44).
However, North, who like Simon Katich retired out, along with wicketkeeper Paine batted freely and cut loose weaving a partnership of 150 for the fourth wicket.