Australia A fighting for survival at MCG

Australia A's hopes for a draw rest with Jack Wildermuth and Kurtis Patterson (pictured).
Australia A's hopes for a draw rest with Jack Wildermuth and Kurtis Patterson (pictured).

Kurtis Patterson and Jack Wildermuth hold the key to saving Australia A from embarrassment in the four-day clash with the England Lions at the MCG.

At stumps on day three, Australia A were struggling at 5-180 in their second innings, still requiring 72 runs to make the Lions bat again.

In reply to the Lions' 428, they were rolled for 176 in the first innings of the day-night fixture.

The hosts were made to follow-on and found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 4-85 in their second dig before Josh Inglis (35), Patterson (43no) and Wildermuth (16no) steadied the ship.

Nic Maddinson avoided the early carnage to score 52 but Usman Khawaja (4), Marcus Harris (24) and Moises Henriques (4) went cheaply.

Craig Overton and Dom Bess snared two wickets apiece, with Australia A's hopes of holding on for a draw now largely resting in Patterson and Wildermuth's hands.

Wildermuth top-scored in the first innings with an unbeaten 50.

"We've had another good day in the field but we know there's still work to be done tomorrow if we're to win the game," England Lions batsman Keaton Jennings said.

"Patterson and Wildermuth are good batsmen and I'm sure they'll do everything they can to frustrate us and take the game as deep as possible.

"Our bowling throughout the day was generally good and even when decent partnerships started to form we held our nerve to take advantage of any breakthrough and put the Australian batsmen under pressure.

"Winning any game in Australia is difficult, so hopefully we can push on to victory tomorrow."

Australian Associated Press