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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

India vs West Indies: Ajinkya Rahane gets welcome runs ahead of first Test

Rahane, who has not scored a hundred in more than two years, made a fighting 54 off 162 balls before a reverse sweep led to his dismissal.

cricket Updated: Aug 19, 2019 22:13 IST
PTI
PTI
Antigua
File image of Ajinkya Rahane.
File image of Ajinkya Rahane.(PTI)
         

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane got much needed runs under his belt ahead of the first Test as the visitors reached 174 for five at lunch on the final day of the three-day warm-up game against the West Indies A here on Monday. Rahane, who has not scored a hundred in more than two years, made a fighting 54 off 162 balls before a reverse sweep led to his dismissal. Rahane, who is the stand-in captain in this game, had come to open the innings after failing in the first essay.

The Mumbai batsman had looked horribly out of touch during his 35 overs at the crease on day two. His 20 not out on Sunday had three boundaries but he played more than 80 dot balls, a testimony to his struggles.

Also read: Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer to share India A captaincy for series against South Africa A

Rahane and Hanuma Vihari had resumed the innings at 84 for one and both batsmen managed to score half-centuries. Vihari, who was on 48 overnight, went on to make 64 off 125 balls in an innings comprising nine fours and a six with India extending their lead to 279 runs.

Off-spinner Akim Frazer removed both Rahane and Vihari while Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja were the other batsmen to be dismissed. Wriddhiman Saha (6) and R Aswhin (5) were in the middle when lunch was called.

On day two, seniormost pacer Ishant Sharma bowled a fiery opening spell while left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav promised to pose stiff competition for Ashwin as India dominated proceedings against West Indies A after second day of warm-up game.

Also read: 11 years of Virat Kohli: Ten impressive records held by Indian cricket team skipper

Having declared on their overnight score of 297 for 5 at the end of the first day, India bowled out the home team for 181 in 56.1 overs with Ishant (3/21), Kuldeep (3/35) and Umesh Yadav (3/19) sharing the spoils.

The second day was about the Indian bowlers trying to find their groove after switching formats.

Umesh, who hasn’t been among the top three pacers in the starting line-up, also gave a good account of himself rocking the A team’s middle-order.

For Kuldeep, getting three wickets will keep him in a good headspace and if India happen to play five bowlers with two spinners, he is sure to play his part.

The first Test begins here on Thursday.

First Published: Aug 19, 2019 22:12 IST