West Indies A defeated India A in a thrilling encounter played at Coolidge, Antigua on Friday. Despite Axar Patel's efforts, India A fell short of the target by just 5 runs.
The visiting captain, Manish Pandey, won the toss and decided to field first. The decision paid off as Khaleel Ahmed dismissed Kjorn Ottley in the first over. Sunil Ambris and Devon Thomas steadied the Caribbean outfit's innings and transferred the pressure onto the India A bowlers.
As the partnership started to threaten, Krunal Pandya struck to dismiss Ambris for 46. The latter had stitched together a 73-run stand for the 2nd wicket alongside Thomas.
Roston Chase came to the crease and looked positive from the outset. Thomas and Chase made batting look easy and added 81 runs for the 3rd wicket. Washington Sundar got the better of Thomas for 74, with the score reading 157-3. Jonathan Carter then strode to the middle and scored a quick fire 50.
The India A bowlers came back into the game and picked wickets at regular intervals to stem the run flow. However, Romario Shephard scored a brisk 21 off 8 balls to help West Indies A post 298 for 9 in 50 overs.
For India A, Khaleel took 4 for 67 while Avesh Khan grabbed 3 for 62. Krunal and Washington bagged a wicket each.
Chasing 299 runs for victory, Anmolpreet Singh and Ruturaj Gaikwad began on a positive note, adding 32 runs for the opening wicket. However, a brilliant run out by Sherfane Rutherford ended the former's stay at the crease.
At that juncture, India A were struggling at 82 for 3. Krunal and captain, Pandey, joined forces and steadied the India A innings.
Yet, in a matter of a few overs, the visitors were reduced to 160 for 6. However, Axar stitched together crucial partnerships with Washington and Khaleel to steer India A towards the target.
Unfortunately, with the required run rate climbing, Axar couldn't take his side home as India A finished on 293 for 9 and eventually, fell short of the target by 5 runs.
The victory on Friday meant that the West Indians notched their first win of the series. India A currently leads the 5 match unofficial ODI series 3-1 with the fifth unofficial ODI set to be played on the 21st of July 2019.
West Indies A 298 for 9 in 50 overs ( Roston Chase 84, Devon Thomas 70, Khaleel Ahmed 4/67, Avesh Khan 3/62) beat India A 293 for 9 in 50 overs ( Axar Patel 81*, Krunal Pandya 45, Washington Sundar 45, Rovman Powell 2/47) by 5 runs.Published 20 Jul 2019, 11:37 IST