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Naman & Umesh earn India A lead

Brisbane: In-form Naman Ojha struck a brave century, while No.10 batsman Umesh Yadav hit an unbeaten 90 to pull India A out of trouble and give the visitors a valuable lead after the third day’s play against Australia A in the second four-day tie, at the Allan Border Field, here.

Ojha, who had scored a double century and a hundred in the first match, hit 18 fours and three sixes in his 110-run innings to help India A notch up 501 in response to the hosts’ first innings score of 423 and gain a lead of 78 runs.

Australia A openers Phil Hughes and Alex Doolan, in their second innings, faced just one ball as stumps were drawn early because of bad light.

Resuming on their overnight score of 165 for three, India A slumped to 199 for five before Ojha (110) took charge and put up a 69-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu (40). Aussie pacer Chadd Sayers (five for 84), who had picked up the first three wickets on Monday, continued his surge by sending overnight batsmen Manoj Tiwary (63) and Baba Aparajith (28) in the first session of play.

A controlled 36 from Amit Mishra also gave the Indians power to fight back as Umesh recorded his career-best score to give the hosts a sizeable lead.

Umesh, who surprisingly looked assured with his stroke-making, took the attack to the opposition as he struck 11 fours and five sixes in his 66-ball knock and stitched a vital 88-run last-wicket partnership with medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah (16 not out).