Manpreet Juneja’s resolute knock went in vain as India A succumbed to a humiliating 162-run defeat against the West Indies A in the first unofficial Test,giving away a 1-0 lead to the visitors in the three-match series here Saturday.
Needing 314 runs to win the match after West Indies declared at their overnight second innings score of 130 for three,India were bundled out for 152 by first innings chief wreckers Nikita Miller and Veerasammy Permaul here.
The hosts were earlier dismissed for 245 in the first innings,giving West Indies a lead of 184 runs. The Indian top-order failed miserably with Manpreet Juneja being an exception with his 193-ball 70 after a first-innings effort of 84. In the second innings,India lost half the side with a mere 90 runs on the board. Captain Cheteshwar Pujara (17) failed for the second time in the match,which proved quite crucial.
Openers Lokesh Rahul (9),Jiwanjyot Singh Chouhan (24) and Pujara (17) were dismissed cheaply but Juneja was the last man out after scoring a brilliant 70 off 193 balls with four boundaries and a six.
The lower-order batsmen could not hang on with Juneja and lost their wickets after finding no answer to the mesmerising bowling by West Indies spinners. Riding high on such a huge total,West Indies bowlers,especially spinners,exploited the conditions effectively,hardly giving a chance to the Indian batsmen to settle down in both the innings.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Nikita Miller was the pick of the West Indies bowler with figures of five for 40 for a match haul of nine wickets for 101 runs. Permaul,on the other hand,snapped up three wickets for a match haul of eight in a fine exhibition of spin bowling.
Right-arm off-break bowler Narsingh Denaraine was also handy with two crucial wickets of Rohit Motwani and Harshad Khadiwale.
The two teams will now travel to Shimoga for the second unofficial Test which begins from October 2. After this defeat,India will look to turn the tables on West Indies with Gautam Gambhir,Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan,joining the team.
The next two India A games will assume greater significance as the selectors will look to guage form of the players,especially the seniors who are trying to make a comeback, before picking the Test team which will play West Indies in a two-Test series in November at home.
Brief scores: West Indies A 429 and 130 for 3 (Powell 68) bt India A 245 &152 (Juneja 70,Permaul 5/85,Miller 5/40) by 162 runs.