With no interest left in the final day of England’s three-day tour game against India ‘A’ that ended in a draw at the Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium, it was Yuvraj Singh who stole the show with his maiden fifer ahead of the team selection for the first Test. The opening Test will be played at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium from November 15 to 19.
Teammate Ajinkya Rahane was full of praise for the 30-year-old all-rounder. “Yuvraj bowled very well. He bowled well in the T20 World Cup too (in Sri Lanka). He is a useful bowler for any team in any format,” Rahane said.
Pace spearhead James Anderson, who took four wickets in the tour game, wasn’t concerned about a part-time spinner getting five wickets. “He is a very good all-rounder. But we also got a couple of guys getting hundreds and a couple others getting fifties. Spinners are going to get wickets here as the wickets have a little bit of turn,” he said.
England resumed at 286 for four with captain Alastair Cook (112) and Samit Patel (82) at the crease. Though paceman Ashok Dinda struck for India ‘A’, dismissing Cook for 119, Yuvraj came to the party by sending another centurion Patel back to the pavilion for 104.
After claiming the wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell on Wednesday, Yuvraj came back to bag the wickets of Matt Prior and James Anderson to return his best first-class figures of 5-93. His previous best was 3-25.
England were all out for 426, thus managing a lead of 57 runs. In the second essay, India ‘A’ were 124 for four when the match was called off. Yuvraj played his last Test against the West Indies in Kolkata in November 2011 where he scored 25 in India’s innings and 15-run victory.
India 'A': 369 and 124 (A Rahane 54, M Vijay 32; J Anderson 2-20)
England XI: 426 all out (A Cook 119, S Patel 104; Y Singh 5-94)