Having taken the tri-series by storm, the India ‘A’ batsmen failed to carry the momentum forward into the unofficial Test against West Indies ‘A’ as they were skittled out for just 133 in their first innings at Beckenham. In reply, West Indies ‘A’ were sitting pretty on 148/3 at stumps — a lead of 15 runs with 7 wickets in the bag.
The Indian new-ball bowlers did come out strongly after the poor show from the batsmen, but Ankit Rajpoot (2/32) failed to get the support from the other end and that saw Chandrapaul Hemraj (43) and skipper Shamarh Brooks (51*) hold ground and take the Windies into a position of strength. After Hemraj’s dismissal, it was Sunil Ambris (24*) who gave his skipper company till the end of the opening day’s action.
Earlier, India ‘A’ skipper Karun Nair won the toss and decided to bat first. But the move backfired on the very first ball of the innings as Chemar Holder sent back Prithvi Shaw to the dressing room for a golden duck. Holder wasn’t done as he then removed Ravikumar Samarth for a duck off the fifth ball of the over.
With the score reading 3/2 at the end of the first over, Sherman Lewis came in to remove in-form Mayank Agarwal for a duck off the very first ball of the second over. Skipper Nair and Hanuma Vihari did try to strike a partnership, but Raymon Reifer got the better of the skipper with the score on 45.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar then took it on himself to give Vihari company at the crease and just when it looked like the 60-run partnership between the two would bring India ‘A’ back into the game, Reifer caught Shankar (34) plumb in front. The scoreboard read a dismal 105/5.
With Lewis dismissing Vihari (37) a couple of overs later, it was all about closing the deal for the West Indies bowlers as the Indian tail refused to wag.
Brief Scores: India ‘A’: 133 (Vihari 37; Lewis 4/35, Holder 4/57; West Indies ‘A’: 148/3 (Brooks 51*)