Chennai :Opening batsman Lokesh Rahul struck a brilliant 96 to guide India to 221/6 at stumps on Day 1 of the first four-day cricket match against Australia A at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.
Opting to bat, India A got off to a bad start with opening batsman Abhinav Mukund getting bowled for 9 with the hosts at 20. However, Rahul and captain Cheteshwar Pujara (55) combined well to strike a 107-run partnership to steady the ship for the hosts.
India A lost Pujara and Karun Nair (0) in quick succession following which Shreyas Iyer played an important knock of 39 before being bowled.
The hosts later lost three quick wickets -- Iyer, Rahul and wicketkeeper batsman Naman Ojha (10). Vijay Shankar (4 not out) and Amit Mishra (0 not out) were at the crease when theplay was called off for the day.
Australia A pacer Andrew Fekete (2/38) and tweaker Steve O'Keefe (2/66) picked up two wickets apiece while fast bowlers Sean Abbot (1/23) and Gurinder Sandhu (1/53) also scalped one each.
Brief scores: India A 221/6 (Lokesh Rahul 96, Cheteshwar Pujara 55, Shreyas Iyer 39; Andrew Fekete 2/38, Steve O'Keefe 2/66, Sean Abbot 1/23) against Australia A.