India 'A' bundled out England Lions for 140 to take a 252-run first-innings lead and the upper hand on Day 2 of the second unofficial Test in Mysuru on Thursday.
Umpires Eloise Sheridan and Mary Waldron are on the verge of making history as they will be the first female duo to officiate in a men’s first grade premier (club) cricket match, this weekend.
Sheridan and Waldron will stand in a match between Tea Tree Gully and Northern Districts in Adelaide featuring Australia’s vice-captain Travis Head.
For Sheridan, officiating in a men’s cricket match is not something new as she stood as an umpire in a South Australian Premier Cricket first grade game 18 months ago.
Earlier, she and NSW umpire Claire Polosak officiated in a Women’s Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars to be the first female pair to officiate a professional match in Australia.
Walsdron, on the other hand, will be officiating in her first men’s grade match. She played for Ireland in last year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup and was also a professional football player.
“To have so many firsts for female umpires in our state in recent times has been wonderful to see. This achievement for Eloise and Mary is very significant as an Australian first and speaks volumes about how hard they have both worked on their development over the past few seasons,” Cricket.com.au quoted SACA State Umpire Coach Daniel Goodwin, as saying.
“Our umpires are all appointed to matches on merit and both women are very deserving of the position they are in and the opportunities that are being presented to umpire high-level games,” Goodwin added.
Bowlers put India 'A' in control against England Lions
India 'A' bundled out England Lions for 140 to take a 252-run first-innings lead and the upper hand in the second unofficial Test in Mysuru on Thursday.
Following on, the visitors ended the second day at 24 for no loss in their second innings, still trailing the hosts by 228 runs.
Earlier, the Lions fought back strongly to restrict India 'A' to 392 after the hosts had resumed at 282 for three.
Test discard Karun Nair didn't add to his overnight score of 14, caught behind by wicketkeeper Ollie Pope off Zak Chappell.
Wickets tumbled as the England bowlers stuck to their task. Only K S Bharat, a centurion in the last game, made a significant contribution, with a belligerent 46 before being the last man out.
Chappell was the best bowler for the Lions with 4/60, while spinner Danny Briggs recovered from a tough first day to finish with 3/71.
The England openers started positively, making 23 in the first five overs before Max Holden departed for 19, leg-before to Navdeep Saini.
Sam Hain, who had scored a fifty in the first match and Duckett couldn't forge a significant partnership with the latter edging one to Bharat off Varun Aaron, who worked up good pace.
The Indian bowlers came to the fore, striking at regular intervals to dismiss the Lions in 48.4 overs.
The talented Pope was the top-scorer with 25 as the rest of the line-up faltered against the varied bowling attack which saw medium-pacer Saini and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem pick up three wickets each.
Aaron, who has been out of the national set-up for a while now, bagged two wickets as did Kerala all-rounder Jalaj Saxena, with his off-spin.
England's openers survived six over before stumps on Day 2.
India 'A' 392 all out (A R Easwaran 117, K L Rahul 81, Priyank Panchal 50, K S Bharat 50, Zak Chappell 4 for 60) vs England Lions 140 all out and 24 for no loss.
Will Australia’s Hazlewood be fit for World Cup?
Strike bowler Josh Hazlewood is confident he'll have plenty of time to recover from a stress fracture in his back before Australia's defence of the World Cup in England later this year
The paceman, who has taken 72 wickets in 44 one-dayers, has been ruled out of the upcoming limited overs tour of India and the ODI series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates that follows.
The 28-year-old quick said he would be having another scan on the damaged back that has kept him sidelined since mid-January in Sydney on Friday and was happy there would be plenty of playing opportunities to get match-fit before June.
"I think, working back (for) the World Cup mostly," he told reporters on Thursday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where he helped Australia beat New Zealand in the 2015 final.
"That'll give me plenty of time to get fit for the World Cup and the Ashes.
"There's quite a long build-up ... there's still quite a lot of cricket I can get to before the World Cup actually starts.
"It's already been six weeks and, as I say, we'll know more tomorrow, but everything's feeling pretty good. We'll probably start walk-through bowling in the next couple of weeks if all goes well."
Australia open their title defence in England with a group match against Afghanistan at Bristol's County Ground on June 1.
Australian cricketers provide landmark investment to grassroots cricket
Grassroots cricket clubs throughout Australia stand to benefit from the most significant collective investment from Australian professional cricketers in history.
Up to $30 million from Australian professional cricketers will be invested into community cricket over the coming years through what is known as the Grassroots Cricket Fund.
The players, the Australian Cricketers Association and Cricket Australia will work in partnership to deliver this vital program, that in year one will focus on providing funds to playing and training facilities that are open to all clubs across Australia and equipment grants to regional, and rural areas in particular, those affected by drought.
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood says the opportunity to leave a tangible legacy to community cricket is important to all players.
“The players are passionate about giving back to the game that has given us so much. There’s a significant need for investment in grassroots cricket, especially for those communities doing it tough at the moment”, Hazlewood said.
“If we can make the experience of playing cricket better for all cricketers it will go a long way to benefit the game at community cricket right through to those playing at the highest level,” he added.
Melbourne Stars player, Holly Ferling says Australian cricketers are united in delivering the Grassroots Cricket Fund to make cricket more accessible to all Australians.
“We all started out in local clubs, so we know how important it is for young kids to hit, bowl and throw a cricket ball in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. This is one small part of how we can give back to the communities who have really shaped us into the people and cricketers we are today,” Holly said.
Clubs from around Australia can apply to the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund where the players’ contribution will specifically invest in playing and training facilities such as pitches, ovals, training nets and lighting. Equipment grants focus on providing equipment to regional and rural communities and areas experiencing drought.