Tom Cooper shines for Australia A against National Performance Squad
Tom Cooper finished unbeaten on 109 to lead Australia A to a comfortable seven-wicket win against the National Performance Squad at the quadrangular series. India A and South Africa A are the two other teams involved in the series. In the other match, India A registered their third win of the series by beating South Africa A by one wicket at the Garden Oval in Darwin. With this win India A have consolidated their position at the top of the table and look to seal a spot in the final soon. Australia A is the most likely team to join them in the final.
South Africa A skipper Justin Ontong won the toss and decided to bat. India A got their first strike when Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed in-form batsman Heino Kuhn with just 7 runs scored by the team. The dismissal was followed by a couple of useful 50-plus partnerships which helped bring the Proteas back to the game.
Riley Rossouw top scored for the South Africans with a scintillating knock of 137 from 150 balls, the innings of which contained 15 boundaries. His innings was the sole bright spot in an otherwise dull batting performance by the rest of the team. South Africa A finished at a respectable score of 275. Among the Indian bowlers, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni and Rishi Dhawan picked two wickets each conceding 35, 47 and 74 runs respectively.
The Indians in reply started off on a good note, with an 84-run opening stand between Robin Uthappa and Unmukt Chand. Uthappa was adjudged leg-before off the bowling of skipper Ontong, four runs short off a well-deserved half-century. This was followed by another valuable 68-run partnership between Chand and Manan Vohra.