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Sanju heroics in vain

Darwin: Sanju Samson’s valiant 81-run knock was overshadowed by Kane Richardson’s five-wicket haul as India A lost by 28 runs to Australia 'A' in the first one-dayer of the quadrangular series, here, at the Marrara Oval, on Sunday.

The tournament also features South Africa A and the local National Performance Squad (NPS).

Chasing 253 for a win, 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 on 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 stitched a 117-run partnership that helped Australia A recover after the fall of early wickets. Doolan blasted his way to his highest List-A score, while Marsh hit 63 as Australia A posted 252 for seven from their 50 overs.

Marsh’s stay lasted for 62 balls with five fours and three sixes, including one towering hit 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.

In pursuit of a chaseable target, the Indians faltered as none of their top-order batsmen managed to convert starts. The opening pair of captain Robin Uthappa (25) and Unmukt Chand (23) were dismissed by Richardson, triggering a collapse.