Pujara lone bright spot on India A tour of WI
West Indies A won the third unofficial Test against India A at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia by 10 wickets on Tuesday, sealing the 3 game series 2-1 in the process.
Earlier, powered by opener Kieran Powell’s 139, West Indies A had secured a 106 run first innings lead on Day 3 in response to India A’s meager first innings score of 230. The WI A bowlers led by Delorn Johnson (3/54) and Kevin McClean (5/57) kept India A down to a 96 run lead in their second innings on Day 4.
India A were reduced to a 10 man team with batsman Robin Bist absent with a finger injury he picked up earlier in the game. The top order flopped once again with only Manoj Tiwary (62) and Wriddhiman Saha (52) offering any resistance.
WI A openers Kraigg Brathwaite (36*) and Powell (56*) knocked off the 97 runs required in just 17.5 overs without any hassle to seal the game and the series.
The series was an eye opener for India’s batting prospects, many of whom failed to adjust to the longer format and Caribbean conditions after 7 hectic weeks spent playing T20 on batting friendly sub-continental pitches. India A had hung on for a tight 2 wicket win in the first unofficial Test at Bridgetown, Barbados but WI A came back strongly to thump them by 125 runs in the second Test at Kingstown, St Vincent.
India A skipper Cheteshwar Pujara ended the tournament as highest run getter on either side with 252 runs including 3 fifties and a highest score of 96* scored in a tense but successful chase in the first Test. His performance tapered since with scores of 67 & 1 and 33 & 5 in the second and third Tests which WI A won but he still managed to average a respectable 50.40. The rest of the batsmen however fared even worse and Pujara may have staked his claim for the spot in the Indian Test line up created by Rahul Dravid’s exit with his performance.
India A 230 (Jalaj Saxena 61, Pujara 33, Devendra Bishoo 3-40)
West Indies A 336 (Kieran Powell 139, Devon Thomas 50 Saxena 3-55)
India A 202 (Manoj Tiwary 62, Wriddhiman Saha 52, Kevin McClean 5-57)
West Indies A (Target 97) 97 for no loss (Powell 56*, Brathwaite 36*)
West Indies A beat India A by 10 wickets, clinch series 2-1