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Comeback man Zaheer guides A team to win

Medium pacer’s 4-wicket haul sets up innings victory against West Indies A; series drawn.

Written by Express News Service | Hubli | Published: October 13, 2013 3:52:52 am

Starting the final day of the last unofficial Test,the task before West Indies A was not hopeless. They were already 1-0 up and began just 180 runs in the arrears,with seven wickets in hand. However,Zaheer Khan (4/59) produced his best performance since his comeback,with his four wickets playing a big part in helping India A win the ‘Test’ and level the series.

But before Zaheer’s heroics began,it was Abhishek Nayar,who had picked up four wickets in the first innings,that struck the first blows. Nayar ended the stand between Narsingh Deonarine (99) and Asad Fudadin (49) when he had the latter follow a wide one. Nayar then had left-hander Jonathan Carter out bowled with a better delivery,one that swung past the outside edge to hit off stump. These were the only wickets of the morning session and the visitors went to lunch at 199/5,97 runs in the arrears. However,with ‘keeper Jahmar Hamilton injured and not slated to bat,skipper Cheteshwar Pujara must have known India were in with a big chance.

The breakthrough

Post lunch,Deonarine ploughed on,stitching together 69 runs with Jonathan Carter,and now the visitors were just 62 runs away from making India bat again. It was then that the 35-year old pacer struck the first of his three blows of the day,sending back the set Deonarine. The delivery angled in and cut away,evading the left-hander’s dab towards mid-wicket to hit the stumps.

With the mainstay dismissed and more than half the day left to play,the visitors went for their shots,assuming perhaps that their best chance lay in closing out the defecit fast,but the approach only accelerated the end. Nikita Miller slogged left arm orthodox Bhargav Bhatt to mid-off while Zaheer finished things off in the next over with the wickets of Ashley Nurse and Miguel Cummins,both bowled. Nurse was late in his attempted defense while Cummins missed a slog. The late collapse meant West Indies A had lost four wickets for eight runs in 13 balls and India A had levelled the series without too much fuss.

BRIEF SCORES: West Indies A 268 and 242 in 73.5 overs (N Deonarine 99,A Fudadin 49; Z Khan 4/59,A Nayar 2/45) lost to India A 564/9 decl.

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