Townsville: Former India U-19 captain Ashok Menaria smashed an unbeaten 94 and added 174 runs for the undefeated second wicket stand with in-from Ajinkya Rahane as India reached 191 for one at stumps against the Australian Institute of Sports, after dismissing them for 205 in the final three-day match of the Emerging Players Tournament.
Having already logged nine points from two matches, the Indians will be aiming to finish with another outright win.
Menaria who had the distinction of scoring three back-to-back tons in Ranji Trophy for Rajasthan (quarters, semis and final) blasted 94 with the help of 12 boundaries and four huge sixes. In fact, he was severe on left-arm spinner Michael Beer (0/49 in 6 overs) who had played in an Ashes Test last summer.
He was ably supported by Rahane (71 batting) who hit 11 boundaries and looks good for another three-figure mark. The Indians are now 15 shy of taking the first-innings lead.
Earlier, AIS lost their last eight wickets for 50 runs after Nic Maddinson (82) and Sam Whiteman (53) added 107 runs for the second wicket.
Electing to field, India's fastest new ball bowler Varun Aaron grabbed four for 40 to cause maximum damage in company of left-arm seamer Jaidev Unadkat (3/47) as the duo snared seven wickets between them to dismiss AIS for 205 in 64.4 overs.