Test allrounder Cameron Green sent selectors a timely reminder of limited-overs credentials with an unbeaten century to guide Australia A to a thumping seven-wicket victory against their Sri Lanka counterparts.
After being sent in by ‘A’ skipper Alex Carey, the hosts posted a competitive 7-297 from their 50 overs at SSC Grounds with Australia left to rue a handful of dropped catches in what was a sloppy fielding performance in Colombo’s sweltering heat on Wednesday.
But Australia’s Test-quality middle-order made the ensuring chase look easy as Green and Carey shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 116 to see the tourists home with 14 balls to spare.
Former Test opener Matthew Renshaw also contributed 68 off 69 balls in 121-run partnership with Green.
Josh Philippe, who also has 10 T20I and three ODI caps for the senior Australia side, was the only batter to missed out, bowled by 19-year-old left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage for five.
South Australian opener Henry Hunt got the visitors off to a good start with 36 from 45 balls before Green took control of the match.
The 23-year-old right-hander, who didn’t bowl during the first innings of the match, crunched nine boundaries and three sixes in his 111-ball 119 not out.
The West Australian, who played in all three of Australia’s recent ODIs in Pakistan and is in the squad for this tour’s five-match 50-over series, was especially destructive with the pull shot through mid-wicket, while Carey (52 off 51) showed his class with several delicate ramps and reverse lap shots off the Sri Lanka A’s fast bowlers.
The Aussie Test and ODI keeper brought up his half century with a four off the second last ball of the match before sealing the win with a single to cover the following delivery.
Earlier, young Victorian off-spinner Todd Murphy, a bolter in the ‘A’ squad with only two first-class matches under his belt, was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 2-53 from his 10 overs.
Mark Steketee, who toured with the Test squad in Pakistan in March this year, picked up a wicket in the first over of the match when Lasith Croospulle edged behind to Carey.
The Queensland quick was Australia’s most expensive bowler with 2-72 from his 10 overs, while Aaron Hardie (1-52) and Matt Kuhnemann each picked up a wicket.
Sri Lanka A captain Dhananjaya de Silva, a 42-Test veteran, was the top scorer for the hosts with 68, while Oshada Fernando, also with 15 Test caps, contributed 65.
The two sides meet again in another 50-over contest at the same ground at 2pm AEST on Friday.