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Rayudu, Henriques shine in draw

Ambati Rayudu struck a fluent 87 while Jammu and Kashmir youngster Parvez Rassol showed his all-round prowess with a useful batting contribution as the two-day warm-up match between Board President's XI and Australia ended in a tame draw on Wednesday. After Australia were all-out for 241 on Tuesday, the Board President's XI were dismissed for 230 in 68.3 overs at the Guru Nanak College ground.

With a result out of question, Australians came out to bat and scored 15 for no loss in their second essay before the umpires decided to call off the match with consent from both the captains. For the Board President's XI, Rayudu top-scored with 87 while Rassol, riding high on his seven-wicket haul on Tuesday chipped in with a handy contribution of 36. Rayudu, fresh from his 156 in the recently concluded Irani Cup game against Mumbai, looked confident from the start but did not get much support from the other top-order batsmen as the home team slumped to 132 for six.

It was Rassol, who joined Rayudu at this stage to resurrect the innings with a 67-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Rassol normally bats at No. 4 for his state side Jammu and Kashmir but due to presence of India discards and senior first-class players was sent in at No. 8 and he showed why he has scored nearly 600 runs in the last Ranji season. While Rayudu hit nine boundaries and three sixes in his 150-ball knock, 'birthday boy' Rasool faced 54 balls hitting four boundaries and a six in the process.

For Australia, all-rounder Moises Henriques bowled superbly to take four for 12 in only 9.3 overs while offie Nathan Lyon was able to scalp three wickets although he did get some stick from both Rayudu and Rasool. Some of the fringe players like openers Abhinav Mukund (21), Robin Uthappa (24) and glovesman Parthiv Patel (23) got starts but could not convert them into a big score. Rayudu, who truly deserved a century, was finally out trying to give Henriques the charge as Jackson Bird took the catch. However, Board President's XI had consumed enough overs by then to ensure that the match ends in a tame draw.
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