India vs West Indies A: Ajinkya Rahane hits much-needed fifty after Hanuma Vihari 64 on Day 3
Ajinkya Rahane opened the batting for India in their second innings and scored 54 runs as Indian batsmen spent some quality time in the middle and stretched the lead on Day 3.
• Hanuma Vihari top-scored with 64 while Ajinkya Rahane made 54 in India's 2nd innings till lunch on Day 3.
• India reached 174 for 5 at lunch with a lead of 279 runs at Coolidge on the final day of the practice match.
• Rahane is leading India in the 3-day practice match in the absence of Virat Kohli.
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane finally hit some form with the bat on Monday as the struck a patient half-century to help the visitors stretch their lead over West Indies A in the ongoing tour match at Coolidge. Rahane had managed just 1 run in the first innings but came back among the runs on the final day, which should give the team management a lot of satisfaction ahead of the two-match Test series against the West Indies starting August 22.
Resuming their second innings at 84 for 1 on the third and final day, India rode on Ajinkya Rahane's 54 off 162 balls and Hanuma Vihari's 64 off 125 balls to reach 174 for 5 in 70 overs at lunch, with a lead of 279 runs over West Indies A. Rahane and Vihari put together 96 runs for the second wicket.
Vihari was the first to be dismissed on the third day by Akim Frazer, who trapped him lbw in the 48th over. 8 overs later wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant got run out for 19 before Khary Pierre got rid of Ravindra Jadeja for 9.
Rahane was then sent back by Frazer, who picked up his second wicket to reduce India to 162 for 5 in 61.4 overs. Rahane is leading India in the 3-day practice match in the absence of Virat Kohli who has been rested after he took a hit to the thumb in the 3rd ODI against West Indies last week.
Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin then played out the rest of the overs in the first session and ensured no more wickets fell before the lunch break. Akim Frazer had figures of 2 for 39 from 14 overs till the first break on the final day while Khary Pierre and Romario Shepherd had one wicket each to their name.
India had produced a fine bowling performance on the second day with Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav leading the way.
After declaring on their overnight score of 297 for 5, pacer Ishant Sharma rocked the West Indies A batting order, leaving them reeling at 30 for 2. The pace spearhead of the India cricket team removed West Indies A top-order batsmen Jeremy Solozano and Brandon King before returning to pick up the wicket of opener Kavem Hodge after he had hit a half-century.
Ishant was given good company by Umesh, who got the big wicket of Darren Bravo for 11. Captain Jahmar Hamilton and all-rounder Jonathan Carter led a middle-order fightback but left-arm wrist spinner removed them both to help India restrict West Indies A to 181.
Umesh finished with figures of 3/19 while Ishant shone with 3/21 while Kuldeep picked up 3 wickets giving away only 35 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah surprisingly went wicketless for India while spin-twins Ashwin and Jadeja did not get to bowl in the first innings.
SOURCE: INDIA TODAY
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