Darwin: Sanju Samson`s valiant 81-run knock was overshadowed by Kane Richardson`s five-wicket haul as India `A` Sunday lost by 28 runs to Australia `A` in the first one-day of a quadrangular series, which also features South Africa `A` and a local National Performance Squad (NPS).
Chasing 253 for a win in 50 overs, the Indians were bowled out for 224 in 46.2 overs with Samson`s knock being the standout effort in an otherwise disappointing batting performance.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, the Indian bowlers did well to keep a check on the Aussie scoring rate in the first half but the hosts broke free riding Alex Doolan`s 101-ball 96, which was laced with nine fours and a six.
Doolan and Mitchell Marsh combined for a 117-run partnership that helped Australia `A` recover from the regular fall of wickets.
Doolan blasted his way to his highest List-A score, while Marsh hit 63 as Australia A posted 252/7 from their 50 overs at the Marrara Oval. Marsh`s stay lasted for 62 balls with five fours and three sixes, including one towering shot that landed on the ninth green of the adjacent golf course.
For India, the pace duo of Mohit Sharma and Dhawal Kulkarni picked up three wickets apiece.
Getting behind a rather gettable target, the Indians faltered as none of their top-order batsmen managed to convert starts. The opening pair of skipper Robin Uthappa (25) and Unmukt Chand (23) were dismissed by Richardson, triggering a collapse.
However, Samson tried to fight through with some lusty hits during his 98-ball effort, which included six fours and a couple of sixes.
He found some help in Parveez Rasool, who scored a 19-ball 25, but could not find much support from others before becoming the last wicket to fall dismissed by Richardson.
Richardson signed off with brilliant figures of five for 31 from his 8.2 overs.
India `A` will next play South Africa `A` on Tuesday.
Australia A: 252/7 in 50 overs (Alex Doolan 96, Mitch Marsh 63, Dhawal Kulkarni 3/41)
India A: 224 all out in 46.2 overs (Sanju Samson 81, Kane Richardson 5/31).