Agar, batting power 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 MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Powered by solid contributions from their batting 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 medium-pacer Avesh Khan. Warner raced to 64 off 48 balls and dominated the partnership of 106 before Kushang Patel, another medium-pacer, 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, the Australians went from 106 for 1 to 158 for 4.

Travis Head took them further and added 88 with Marcus Stoinis, who top-scored with 76 at No. 6. Head departed at the end of the 40th over, having scored 65 of 63 balls. 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 the Australians 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 amid the carnage, giving away 55 runs in their combined 15 overs, with Washington’s figures reading 8-1-23-2.

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 middle order. Akshay Karnewar and Kushang held the Australians back briefly with 40 and 41* respectively, to help add 88 runs for the last two wickets. But the Australians’ strong batting performance meant it still resulted in a massive win as Agar dented the middle and lower order with his 4 for 44.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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