It’s not often that a Sheffield Shield cricketer can boast of getting a greater ovation than India's Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. However, after notching up his fourth century of the summer Ed Cowan got a standing ovation that reverberated across the Manuka Oval.
Until he reached the three-figure mark, the biggest roar of the day was saved for Tendulkar, who wasn’t playing the match but went out in the tea break for catching practice. The volume went up a few decibel counts the moment Tendulkar caught a diving catch, however, even that reception paled in comparison to the one Cowan got on reaching his century.
India's wily off-spinner R Ashwin pulled India back into the match with excellent figures of 4/52 to give the Indians the upper hand as they had the CA Chairman's XI at 214/7 at stumps, after they had raced away to 184/3 at one point.
Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli continued from where he left off on Monday, hitting a brilliant 132 to guide the Indians to 269 in their first innings.
With none of the last five batsman offering him much support, Kohli single-handedly guided India to a respectable total. Running out of partners, Kohli went on the attack, smashing Jon Holland, who ended as the best bowlers with figures of 6/70, for two massive sixes and showing utter disdain for the rest of the attack as he smashed them to all parts of the ground. By the time Kohli fell, India were well past the 250-run mark.
Under the scanner
With selector Rod Marsh in attendance, the Chairman’s XI top-four, all in reckoning for the Boxing Day Test, were eager to impress.
David Warner, certain to be picked, had a short stint as he was bowled by Abhimanyu Mithun for just two. Usman Khawaja looked solid before he nicked one to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni off pacer Umesh Yadav. Out of sorts Phillip Hughes, again failed to make the most of the opportunity and was the first of Ashwin’s four wickets.
Zaheer Khan, working his way back into full fitness, didn’t have the most productive day, conceding 41 runs in his 10 over without taking a wicket.
He was the first player to head back to the team hotel, hopping onto an SUV with the team’s liaison officer and physio Evan Speechly a good half an hour before the rest of the team went back in the team bus.