July 13, 2018 9:39:13 pm
Rishabh Pant shone with a counter-attacking 71-ball 67 as India ‘A’ completed an incredible five-wicket victory over West Indies ‘A’ in the second unofficial Test, coming back from a precarious position to clinch the series 1-0 in Taunton on Friday.
Having conceded a first-innings lead of 110 runs at the The Cooper Associates County Ground, India ‘A’ eventually chased down a target of 321 with plenty to spare.
Hanuma Vihari top-scored with 68 and shared a vital partnership of 136 runs for the third wicket with Karun Nair (55) to help India ‘A’ to 214.
While Pant finished the job, the foundation was laid by Vihari and captain Nair yesterday. It ensured India ‘A’ did not crumble despite losing two quick wickets inside the first five overs of play on the fourth and final morning.
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Three quick wickets for seven runs pegged India ‘A’ back but Pant, throwing caution to the wind, launched into the opposition attack with some explosive strokes, so typical of him, to propel his side’s chase.
The Delhi player was unbeaten and found the fence 11 times, and also shared 100 runs with Jayant Yadav 23.
This allowed India ‘A’, who resumed the fourth day needing 107 to win, rally around despite losing two wickets inside the first five overs of play.
Jayant Yadav, the offspinner, made 23 not out in an unbroken 100-run sixth-wicket stand with Pant to seal the win.
Two days into the game, India ‘A’ were well behind. In reply to West Indies A’s 302, India ‘A’ were bundled out for 192.
Nair’s team, led by Mohammed Siraj’s four wickets and Rajneesh Gurbani’s three on India ‘A’ debut, staged a sensational fight back to bowl out West Indies ‘A’ for 210 in their second essay.
Siraj finished with match figures of 8 for 132. Chasing a mammoth score, India ‘A’ openers R Samarth and Abhimanyu Easwaran put on 51 runs. Nair and Vihari put West Indies ‘A’ on the backfoot, before Pant showed his prowess to lead his side to victory.
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