India A conceded a slender 47-run first-innings lead to the West Indies A despite a fighting half-century by Uday Kaul on the third day of the second unofficial Test here today. At the close of play on Day 2, West Indies A were 28 for no loss in their second innings, extending their overall lead to 75 runs.
Before Kaul's rearguard unbeaten knock of 64 off 172 balls, Vasudevan Jagadeesh (86) and Abhishek Nayar (89) were involved in a 99-run partnership for the fourth wicket, as India A were all out for 359 in their first innings. Having gained slender lead, the West Indies A were at a pretty comfortable position at stumps with openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell batting on 18 and 9, respectively. In reply to the West Indies' 406, India's innings ended just after tea with Kaul remaining unbeaten. Mohammad Shami was the last man out, caught behind by Chadwick Walton off medium pacer Assad Fudadin for a handy 15 runs.
The wicketkeeper-batsman from Kangra fought hard to stay in the middle as he saw wickets tumbling at the other end. The youngster came in when India were struggling at 245 for five. Kaul struck four boundaries and a six and faced 148 balls during his dogged innings. The West Indies attack was decent but could not capitalise, giving opportunity to the Indian tail-enders to stick around a defiant Kaul and reduce the lead. Cummins bagged three for 58 and two wickets each were shared by Veerasammy Permaul, Nikita Miller and Assad Fudadin after they conceded 88, 77 runs and 23 runs, respectively.
Deonaraine took one wicket for 66 runs. Even as the match seemed to be heading towards a draw, there is still enough interest left as Kirk Edwards and Powell, who have been picked for India and West Indies series, would like to be among runs before they get ready for the big challenge in November.
For the Indian crowd, they would be eager to see Zaheer Khan among the wickets and impress the national selectors. Resuming at 269 for five at lunch, Indian batsmen struggled to accelerate and managed to score only 25 runs in 16 overs, losing Mohammad Kaif for 26 as he was caught by Narasingh Deonaraine off Assad Fudadin.
After the second drinks break, Deonaraine removed Parveez Rasool for 11 and right-arm Barbadian fast bowler Miguel Cummins struck a double blow by sending back Bharghav Bhatt (11) and Zaheer Khan (0). Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 191 for three, Jagadeesh and Nayar began sedately but missed out on their centuries.
The unheralded Kerala opener Jagadeesh, who showed good temperament for his undefeated overnight score of 79, added only seven runs to his tally before being dismissed. The youngster, who had also missed out on a century during the unofficial Test against New Zealand A earlier this year, had showed a lot of composure during his 198-ball knock that included eight boundaries. After Jagadeesh was packed off, Nayar (89) too took the long walk back to the pavillion as he was trapped in front by left-arm spinner Nikita Miller. Cummins was the first to provide the breakthrough in the morning as he bagged the prized wicket of Jagadeesh before Miller took Nayar's wicket.