Fine rearguard action by England’s last wicket pair of David Willey and Adil Rashid helped England recover from a mid-innings slump to post 282 after electing to bat in the second warm-up match against India A at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.(Live updates/scorecard).
Willey and Rashid added 71 runs after the visitors had slumped to 211 for nine. The two targeted the pace bowlers effectively with Rashid hitting 39 off 42 balls and Willey remaining unbeaten on 38 off 30 balls.
Even though the scoreboard in the end looked good, the England management will not be pleased with how their batsmen handled the home team spinners. Their total was mainly built around runs plundered against the medium-pacers with Pradeep Sangwan going for 64 runs in 6.4 overs, Ashok Dinda conceding 55 off eight, Vinay Kumar giving away 47 off seven and Siddharth Kaul leaking 31 in six overs.
INDIA SPINNERS SHINE
But there was no denying that England’s frailties against spin were there to see. This time the visitors found the going tough against the left-arm spin of Shahbaz Nadeem and the off-breaks of Parvez Rasool. The two applied the brakes after England’s top-order had started brightly in their effort to cash in after getting to bat first. The two tormented skipper Eoin Morgan and Co by exploiting the purchase on offer with Rasool finishing with 10-1-38-3 and Nadeem returning 10-0-41-2.
England were guilty of frittering away a strong start. They had raced to 42 in five overs and were comfortably placed at 116 for one in 16.5 overs. But the introduction of spin turned the tide. Nadeem immediately settled into his rhythm and when captain Ajinkya Rahane introduced Rasool from the other end, the two built the pressure with some tidy overs. Even though Alex Hales and Jos Buttler were well set, they found it difficult to work the ball around against the slow bowlers. Hales was soon out, caught at shot midwicket by Rahane off Nadeem for 51 and it opened the floodgates.
Nadeem had captain Eoin Morgan out for a duck. Buttler was also out for a duck, and Moeen Ali made one.
The batsmen cornered glory as long as the ball was new and had shine. The openers started with a bang, hitting a flurry of boundaries.
The wayward Sangwan was easy meat for England’s top three, all strong backfoot players. He repeatedly pitched it short and wide allowing the batsmen to free their arms and hit him.
From the other end, Kaul looked for swing by pitching it up. But the wicket played easy and Hales put him off his rhythm with powerful drives.
The visitors had won the first warm-up game by three wickets.