India draws second practice match ahead of West Indies Test series
India drew the second practice game against the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI at Warner Park, St Kitts, the final practice match ahead of the first Test of their tour of the West Indies. The three-day match, which entered into the final day with the Indian bowlers requiring nine wickets to force a result, ended an hour into the final session of play.
The Board President’s total stood at 223-6 when the players shook hands in the middle after the completion of the 86th over of the innings. Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India, picking up three wickets. He was ably supported by the duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra, who bowled tight lines and kept the scoring under check. Shardul Thakur, the only uncapped player in the Test squad, couldn’t pick up a wicket in the second innings, but bowled a tight channel on the middle and off stump. Mohammed Shami was the more aggressive of the two, starting off his spell by testing the batsmen with short-pitched deliveries. The part-time spin of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara was also employed.
The day started with the Board President’s XI trailing by 158 runs after the Indian team had ended their first innings on 364. Skipper Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja helped themselves to fifties and were well supported by Wriddhiman Saha and Ajinkya Rahane, who chipped in with useful contributions. Rahul was the top-scorer, compiling a 127-ball 64 before retiring. Rahkeem Cornwall, the Antiguan off-break bowler, picked up a five-wicket haul for the WICB XI.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the Board President’ XI could manage to put on just 180 runs in the first innings. Cornwall, coming in at No.7, top-scored with a 56-ball 41. Kohli used six bowlers in the first innings, with Ashwin and Jadeja taking three wickets apiece. Amit Mishra followed with a couple more and Shardul Thakur and Stuart Binny helped themselves to a wicket each.
The second innings saw a much more improved batting performance from the WICB outfit, with every batsman getting to double figures. Jermaine Blackwood top-scored with a composed 51, and was well supported by Vishaul Singh and Montcin Hodge, each of whom made 39. The first match of the tour, a two-day fixture, had also ended in a draw.
The round of practice matches having ended, the Indian team will now move to Antigua, with the first Test scheduled to start from 21st July at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.