ENGLAND LION’S TOUR OF INDIA, 2019
Cricbuzz Staff •
Rahul finished Day 2 unbeaten on 88. © Getty
India A delivered a fitting riposte to England Lions’ strong start to the first four-day fixture in Wayanad, even moving ahead in the contest after a strong show with both bat and ball. Seamer Navdeep Saini’s five-fer triggered a collapse in the visitors’ ranks, who slipped from 303/5 overnight to 340 all-out. India A then reached 219/1 by Stumps with both KL Rahul and Priyank Panchal on the cusp of centuries.
Given England A’s control on the opening day and the Wayanad pitch playing little to no tricks, it was a surprise that the last five wickets in the innings managed to bat all of 14 overs on the second morning. Saini struck the first and the decisive blow of the morning when he ended a 72-run stand by castling Steven Mullaney for 42. Lewis Gregory then suffered a similar fate at the other end when Shardul Thakur went through his defences.
Will Jacks completed his half-century at the other end but was powerless to stop the procession of wickets as Saini scythed through the defences of Danny Briggs and Zak Chappell to bring up his five-fer. Jacks himself was ninth out for 63, when Shahbaz Nadeem had him out LBW.
Having bowled the visitors out inside the first session on Day 2 for the addition of a mere 37 runs, India A set about fortifying their position in the game under almost ideal conditions for batting. Abhimanyu Easwaran was dismissed after getting a start (37) but Rahul and Panchal were in no mood for such benevolence.
Rahul was understandably extra cautious, his recent dip in Test form was bound to be a factor, and scored at a rate of little over 25 after the first 100 balls. He pushed his scoring up thereafter, finishing the day on a solid 88 not-out with 11 fours to his name. Panchal, though, dominated the unbeaten 171-run stand with his 89 studded with 16 boundaries. India A finished the day on 219 for 1, trailing their visitors by only 121 runs.
Brief scores: England Lions 340 (Ben Duckett 80, Will Jacks 63; Navdeep Saini 5-79) lead India A 219/1 (Priyank Panchal 89*, KL Rahul 88*; Zak Chappell 1-28) by 121 runs.