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India A fall for 172

Mumbai, Dec. 6 (PTI): Left-arm spinner Rangan Herath took four for 34 as Sri Lanka A bowled out India A for 172 in less than 50 overs on the opening day of the four-day third ‘Test’ at the Brabourne Stadium here today.

But the visitors found themselves in a tight spot when they came out to bat, being reduced to 134 for four in 42 overs at stumps.

India A skipper Shiv Sundar Das won the toss and elected to bat first. However, some insipid batting by the hosts saw them lose their last six wickets for just five runs after they were comfortably placed at 138 for three at one stage.

Herath, who was on a hattrick twice but failed to claim the feat, bowled a superb line and length and was ably supported by medium pacers Lashita Malinga (two for 49) and Taranga Lakshita (two for 49).

The top-order batsmen were left blaming themselves for the situation. The top four — S. S. Das (39 off 60 balls), Gautam Gambir (18 off 24 balls), Mohammed Kaif (33 off 64 balls) and Hemang Badani (47 off 65 balls) — got off to decent starts but failed to covert those into big scores.

Rohan Gavaskar (6) and Ambathi Rayudu (8) disappointed going for rash strokes too early in their innings.

After bowling out India A 20 minutes before tea in 47.3 overs, the visitors were precariously placed at 69 for four off 23.2 over before their skipper Naveed Nawaz (batting 46 off 81 balls) and A. Polonowita (batting 38 off 61 balls) steadied the innings with an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 65 runs.

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