Pan­chal, Bharat put In­dia A on top against Eng­land Lions

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTSPORTSMAX - HT Cor­re­spon­dent sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­ sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­

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).


Martin Gup­till


Priyank Pan­chal.

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