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Australia A spinner O’Keefe chokes India A 

Chennai, July 31 (IANS) Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe made sure India A did not get away too far as he bagged figures of 3-83 for Australia A to reduce the hosts to 267/6 in their second innings at the end of third day’s play of the second and last four-day cricket match at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here on Thursday.

Resuming the day at 329/9, the visitors added 20 more runs to be finally bowled out for 349 as Pragyan Ojha got rid of Andrew Fekete for 10.

After conceding a first innings lead of 214, India were jolted upfront as skipper Cheteshwar Pujara got out cheaply for 11, failing to make his ground.

Opener Abhinav Mukund and India’s Test captain Virat Kohli then got together to put on a partnership of 63 runs for the second wicket.

Both batsmen looked at ease facing the Australian bowling attack with Kohli racing to 45 which included five delightful boundaries. Just when the duo looked well settled O’Keefe rocked Kohli’s citadel.

However, Mukund carried on batting unfazed by the loss of two wickets and forged another partnership with Karun Nair who scored a pacy 31 of just 34 balls.

Australia pacer Gurinder Sandhu then got rid of Nair as the score read 134/3 in 45.5 overs.

Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer then got together with Mukund to knit yet another useful partnership of 70 runs. But could not carry on to make it big.

Mukund (59) fell shortly after getting to his fifty while Iyer soon followed his footsteps as the host found themselves struggling at 210/5.

Wicket-keeper Naman Ojha was the last man to go as he spooned one to Usman Khawaja off an O’Keefe delivery.

India A added 10 runs more after Ojha’s loss to rest at 267/6 at the end of the third days play. They lead only by 53 runs with four wickets to spare.

Brief Scores: India A 135 & 267/6 (Abhinav Mukund 59, Shreya Iyer 49; Steve O’Keefe 3-83) vs Australia A 349 (Cameron Bancroft 150, Callum Ferguson 54; Baba Aparajith 5-86, Pragyan Ojha 4-107).

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