The first day of the second and final four-day first class cricket match against Australia A turned out to be quite dismal for India A, who were bowled out for a meagre 135 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.At stumps, Australia A were batting at 43 for no loss with openers Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 24 and 13, trailing India A by 92 runs.It was a poor first innings outing for the hosts, who despite winning the toss and having India Test skipper Virat Kohli (16) in their ranks, collapsed for the measly total.The fall started when captain Cheteshwar Pujara (11) was bowled by medio Marcus Stoinis (1/21). India A were soon tottering at 53/4 with the losses of opener Abhinav Mukund (15), Kohli and Shreyas Iyer (1).Kohli hit a six and a boundary and looked like getting a big one but left-arm tweaker Ashton Agar (2/23) had other plans and put an end to the Indian’s innings, getting him trapped in front of the wickets.Also read: All eyes on Virat Kohli as India A takes on Australia A Karun Nair (50) and wicketkeeper batsman Naman Ojha then offered the only resistance to Australia A bowlers by striking an important 56-run fifth wicket partnership. Though Ojha contributed only 10 runs in the stand, his 84-ball stay helped Nair reach his half-century in 153 deliveries.But once Ojha was stumped of Agar (2/23), the final fall happened again with India A losing their last six wickets for only 24 runs, totally giving the advantage to the visitors.advertisementIndian origin Australian pacer Gurinder Sandhu picked the most number of wickets. The right-armer cleaned up the India A tail to end with 3/25. Agar, spinner Steve O’Keefe (2/30) and pacer Andrew Fekete (2/33) also clinched two wickets each.In reply, the visitors started well as Bancroft and Khawaja did not play loose shots and stuck it out in the middle for 13 overs before the close of play.Brief scores: India A 135 all out (Karun Nair 50; Gurinder Sandhu 3/25, Ashton Agar 2/23, Steve O’Keefe 2/30) vs Australia A 43 for no loss (Cameron Bancroft 24 not out).
Michy Batshuayi will be ready to grab his chance if selected to replace the suspended Diego Costa for Chelsea’s Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth in the Premier League, said midfielder Nemanja Matic.Costa, the league’s leading scorer, will miss the match after picking up his fifth booking last weekend and Batshuayi, who signed from Olympique de Marseille in the close season, has been tipped to get his first league start. (Also read: Diego Costa heads Chelsea to 11th successive Premier League win)”When you have Diego in the team it is very hard to get a chance because he is playing so well and scoring goals, but I’m sure Michy is ready to take his opportunity because he is working hard every day,” Matic told the London Evening Standard.Batshuayi has scored three times in 13 appearances for Chelsea, and Matic said the 23-year-old Belgian was an excellent understudy to Costa.”Of course he has benefited from working with Costa,” Matic added. “It was the same with me seven years ago (in Matic’s first spell at Chelsea). It was very good for me to see how Frank Lampard played, how Michael Ballack played and Michael Essien.”So it is good for Michy and a good experience for him to see Diego’s movement. He will have learned from watching and playing with Diego.”Midfielder N’Golo Kante is also suspended, and Cesc Fabregas is expected to partner Matic in midfield for the league leaders when 10th-placed Bournemouth visit Stamford Bridge.