Panchal, Bharat put India A on top against England Lions
NEW DELHI: Priyank Panchal struck a double century and Srikar Bharat blasted a century as India A pushed for victory in their four-day unofficial Test against England Lions before weather curtailed the penultimate day’s play at Wayanad, Kerala on Saturday.
Panchal (206 – 213b, 26x4, 3x6), the 28-year-old opener from Gujarat who has been in fine form this season, saw his secondwicket partnership with KL Rahul (89) end early when the India opener was caught, missing out on a confidence-boosting century. The pair had put on 174 runs for the second wicket.
Ankit Bhawne (0) and Ricky Bhui (16) fell in succession after that, but Bharat, an Andhra wicketkeeper, hit 142 off 139 balls (11x4) as he joined No 3 Panchal to raise 196 for the fifth wicket.
India A declared on 540, after establishing a 200-run lead. England Lions, 340 all out in the first innings, reached 20 for none in their second innings before poor weather ended play early with over 17 overs left.
The hosts resumed on 219/1 with focus on whether Rahul, who struggled in the Test series in Australia, will get a century. But he was caught by substitute Jamie Overton off left-arm spinner Danny Briggs.
India A were 262/4, but Panchal, who had resumed on 89, and Bharat built a huge lead. Panchal was eventually caught by Sam Billings off Zak Chappell but Bharat put on 66 runs more with Jalaj Saxena (28no) before he too was caught off Briggs.
England Lions have lost all games barring one on this tour. Brief scores: England Lions 340 & 20/0 in 5 overs; India A 540/4 decl in 134.5 overs (KL Rahul 89, P Panchal 206, KS Bharat 142, Z Chappell 3/105, D Briggs 2/144).