Rohit, Kohli crack centuries to take President's XI to 371 for 6

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Hyderabad, Oct 2 (UNI) Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli cracked fluent centuries to help Board President's XI post 371 runs for six on the first day of the four-day match against Australia at Rajiv Stadium here today.

At stumps, Parthiv Patel was batting on 49 off 71 balls and Irfan Pathan was giving him company on 17.

Sharma and Kohli's centuries were witnessed by the five national selectors who announced the Indian team for the first two Tests against Australia yesterday as the Board President's XI made a strong comeback through the youngsters to take the honours on first day.

Sharma (105) and Kohli were out on the same individual scores and were involved in a 146-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Mumbai lad, Sharma, who came in when the Board President's XI were in a spot of bother, stood like a Rock of Gibraltor to thwart the Aussie bowlers who looked spineless against him and took his team to a great position.

Sharma demonstrated entertaining batting with the stroke filled century (105) that came in little over three hours off 144 balls. He was particularly severe on off-spinner Jason Krejza whom he hit for three sixes apart from the one that came off speedster Stuart Clark.

At one stage the home team was tottering at 59 for three in 20 overs but the pair of Sharma and Kohli defied the visitors to take away the advantage.

Sharma reached his half century with a six at long on off Stuart Clark and looked to repeat the same when he was nearing his century.

Batting on 86, Sharma clobbered Krejza for two consecutive sixes and then completed a well deserved century but could not control a pull shot off Mitchell Johnson which went straight to Krejza soon after he completed his hundred.

Sharma was lucky to get his century as he was dropped by Brett Lee of his own bowling when the batsman was on 63 and then he narrowly escaped a run out chance on 99.

Kohli gave Sharma good support from the other end, but after the latter departed, the Delhi lad took the centre stage and reached his century.

Kohli's 105 came off 146 balls and his innings was studded with 14 hits to the fence and a six off Krejza.

However, Kohli's innings came to an end when he was out to dubious decision. Brett Lee fired a yorker which looked to go down the leg side but the umpire thought otherwise and declared the batsman out.

For the Australian team, Mitchell Johnson was the most successful bowler who accounted for three Indian batsmen.

Earlier, Yuvraj failed to impress the crowd and the national selectors as he tried to cut the ball which bounced more than what the batsman expected and was caught by Hussey at gully after scoring a free flowing 29.

The stylish left-hander looked good during his 47-ball stay at the wicket and had five well-timed hits to the fence.

Board President's XI, after electing to bat first, were in a spot of bother at lunch with the score reading 80 for three.

Opening pair of Wasim Jaffer and Akash Chopra added 41 runs before the former was caught at fine leg off Stuart Clark's bowling.

Australian pace bowlers created a flutter as President's XI lost three quick wickets within 18 runs. Johnson trapped Chopra (25) and Badrinath was adjudged leg before wicket off Siddle for just two.

UNI XR/DB RAR KP1837

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