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Hosts surge ahead on second day

Ahmedabad: Aided by half-centuries from three middle-order batsmen, India A reached 304 for six on Day 2 of the four-day match against Sri Lanka A on Monday.

The visitors could add just one more to their overnight tally of 243 for eight and Amit Bhandari claimed both wickets to finish with figures of six for 55.

India A made a steady start but lost openers skipper Shiv Sundar Das and Gautam Gambhir with the total reading 96.

Mohammed Kaif and Hemang Badani scored half-centuries but failed to carry on, as did Rohan Gavaskar. The hosts kept losing wickets whenever it seemed as if a partnership is taking shape.

Badani, who cracked an aggressive 50 with five boundaries and a six, was caught by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene when he tried to cut spinner R. Herath.

Kaif, who made a patient 53 of 149 balls with four fours, also perished to Herath, caught at silly point by Lanka de Silva.

Like Kaif and Badani, Rohan also failed to capitalise on his half-century.

The left-hander smashed six fours and two huge sixes in his 60 made off 82 balls before an ambitious attempt to clear mid-off let him down.

The Sri Lankans were not very impressive and conceded 29 no balls.

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