Agar, batsmen help Australians make winning start

Australians 347 for 7 (Stoinis 76, Head 65, Washington 2-23) beat Indian Board President’s XI 244 (Goswami 43, Agarwal 42, Agar 4-44) by 103 runs

The Australians kicked off their limited-overs tour of India with a dominant 103-run win over the Indian Board President’s XI in their only warm-up match at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. Powered by solid contributions from all around their order, with as many as four batsmen making half-centuries, Australians ran up 347 for 7 before Ashton Agar returned a four-wicket haul to send Board President’s XI packing for 244.

Australians’ dominance began with a second-wicket stand between David Warner and captain Steven Smith, after Hilton Cartwright had been sent back for a second-ball duck by the medium pacer Avesh Khan. Warner raced to 64 off 48 balls and dominated the partnership of 106 before Kushang Patel had him caught behind. Smith was more sedate for his 55 that took 68 balls, but with him and Glenn Maxwell falling in the space of six overs, Australians went from 106 for 1 to 158 for 4.

Travis Head took Australians further and added 88 with Marcus Stoinis, who top-scored with 76. Head departed at the end of the 40th over, having scored 65. Stoinis and Matthew Wade then pushed them into overdrive with a sixth-wicket stand of 85 that came in eight overs. Both batsmen fell in successive balls – Stoinis for a 60-ball 76 that had four fours and five sixes and Wade for 45 off 24 with two fours and four sixes – but Australia still punched 16 runs in 11 balls after their dismissals.

Board President’s XI’s spin duo of Washington Sundar and Rahil Shah held their own amidst the carnage, giving away 55 runs in their combined 15 overs, with Washington also taking two wickets.

Board President’s XI, like the Australians, lost an early wicket in the form of Rahul Tripathi but quickly recovered through a second-wicket stand between Shreevats Goswami (43) and Mayank Agarwal (42) that was worth 79. But 89 for 1 became 156 for 8 with little resistance coming from the rest. Akshay Karnewar and Kushang Patel held the Australians back briefly with 40s and helped add 88 for the last two wickets. But Australia’s strong batting performance meant it still resulted in a massive win.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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