India A vs Australia A: Eight for Mohammed Siraj, 127 for Usman Khawaja
Mohammed Siraj finished with career-best figures of 8/59. @Getty

A career-best haul of 8/59 for India A pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has bowled out Australia A for 243 on day one of the first unofficial Test in Bengaluru. The visitors would not have gotten anywhere near that total without Usman Khawaja who opened the innings and was last out for 127 off 228 balls.

By stumps, the in-form Mayank Agarwal (31*) and Ravikumar Samarth (10*) saw India A to 41 without loss.

Khawaja batted on a different level than his Australia A team-mates. With Test hopeful Kurtis Patterson (31) he put on 78 in 25.2 overs before Siraj triggered triggered a dramatic collapse with four wickets in one spell, including those of Test players Peter Hanscomb and Mitchell Marsh for ducks.

Siraj bowled Patterson, had Travis Head caught behind for 4 and then removed both Hanscomb and Marsh lbw without scoring.

Khawaja, using all his Test experience, buckled down and ground his way to a century in the company of Narnus Labuschagne to take Australia A to 191/4 by tea. Labuschagne offered support with 60 off 105 to help Khawaja revive the innings from 90/4 to 204/5 before he was bowled by Siraj.

Kuldeep Yadav then removed Alex Carey, and in one over Siraj trapped Michael Neser and Chris Tremain for his sixth and seventh scalps. A second to Kuldeep made it 215/9, meaning that Australia A had lost five wickets for 11 runs. In the presence of the No 11 Khawaja began to hit out and got to 127 before he was last out, giving Siraj his eighth wicket.

The four-day matches are being viewed as a selection trial for Australia’s Test tour of the UAE to play Pakistan in October, and with the squad to be named after the tour, there are several Test aspirants hoping to impress the selectors.