A BRILLIANT century by Brad Haddin gave Australia A the edge at the close of an absorbing day at The Grange, Edinburgh.
However, Scotland’s bowlers emerged with credit from a gruelling 90 overs during which they enjoyed early success.
The hosts made an ideal start after Preston Mommsen had won the toss and elected to bowl in cloudy conditions. The new-ball pair of Iain Wardlaw and Gordon Goudie each claimed a wicket to remove the tourists’ opening pair inside the first hour.
Goudie was first to strike when he found the edge of Jordan Silk’s bat and Mommsen held on to a fine juggling catch in the slips.
Alex Doolan, the Tasmania batsman, had stroked a couple of confident shots on his way to 14 but saw his leg stump uprooted by an in-swinging delivery from Wardlaw.
The Scotland bowlers continued to have the upper hand but it was the introduction of Calum MacLeod that brought further success, the Uddingston all-rounder inducing a false shot by Steve Smith who was well caught by Goudie in the gully.
At 65 for three, the Australians needed a partnership and it was provided by Usman Khawaja and skipper Haddin who survived until lunch with honours even at 105 for three.
Khawaja went on to complete a half-century with seven boundaries and a six only to be dismissed soon after as Wardlaw struck again and Matthew Cross claimed his first international catch behind the stumps.
Haddin, though, was not to be so easily dislodged, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman proving a much more obdurate figure.
There was further success for Scotland – and MacLeod – when Moises Henriques went in similar fashion to Smith, caught by Goudie, before Peter Siddle joined his captain to frustrate the Scots in the final session of the day as the sun made a belated appearance.
Haddin, a player with more than 8,500 First Class runs to his name, demonstrated an application which had been missing from some of his less experienced team-mates while Siddle lent resolute support as a century beckoned for the skipper.
The landmark duly arrived from 141 deliveries with 11 boundaries and a solitary maximum over deep square leg when MacLeod dropped one short.
Haddin added a second six off Moneeb Iqbal before the leg spinner had his revenge to remove the day’s star turn thanks to Mommsen’s catch.
He had made 113, adding 118 runs for the sixth wicket with Siddle who reached the close on 85, within touching distance of his own century when the Australians resume on 335 for six this morning.
AUSTRALIA A First innings
J Silk c Mommsen b Goudie 4
A Doolan b Wardlaw 14
U Khawaja c Cross B Wardlaw 51
S Smith c Goudie b MacLeod 22
B Haddin c Mommsen b Iqbal 113
M Henriques c Goudie b MacLeod 20
P Siddle not out 85
J Pattinson not out 9
Extras (b4 lb9 w2 nb2) 17
Total for 6 wkts (90.0 overs) 335
Fall: 1-15 2-23 3-65 4-138 5-171 6-289
Bowling: Wardlaw 23-5-81-2; Goudie 21-8-44-1; MacLeod 17-1-71-2; Burnett 15-2-64-0; Berrington 1-0-8-0; Machan 5-1-23-0; Iqbal 8-0-31-1
• A career-best 159 not out by Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale helped the Tykes dominate day three of their LV= County Championship match with Nottinghamshire. Yorkshire started out on 29 for three at Scarborough’s North Marine Road ground, responding to Nottinghamshire’s imposing 443 all out. Their revival was a spirited one, though, with first Phil Jaques (51) and then Gale and Gary Ballance (103no) excelling.
At Lord’s Sussex were on a desperate salvage mission against Middlesex, with Ed Joyce spearheading their efforts. With the home side having registered a first-up 499, Sussex slumped to 222 all out in the morning session, with Luke Wright’s 77 their saving grace. They were asked to follow on and were making a better fist of things second time around as an unbeaten 75 by Joyce and 48 not out by Wright took them to a closing 228 for four.
Nick Compton made 166 for Somerset as they made 458 against Durham on day two at Taunton.