Zaheer Khan got his name in the wickets column but it was a patient 82 by opener Kraigg Brathwaite that helped West Indies A reach a decent 283 for six in 90 overs after opting to bat in the second unofficial four day 'Test' here today.
Brathwaite along with middle-order batsman Asad Fudadin (63) added 117 runs for the fourth wicket to ensure a position of safety for the visitors at the Jawaharlal Nehru College of Engineering ground here today.
Fudadin joined Brathwaite in the post lunch with West Indies A in a none too comfortable position at 98 for three.
While Brathwaite faced 202 deliveries hitting 13 boundaries, Fudadin faced 107 balls hitting seven fours in the process. Both were dismissed in quick succession that saw the Caribbeans reduced to 215 for five before Leon Johnson (36) along with Chadwick Walton (30) scripted another recovery act with a crucial 68-run partnership for sixth wicket.
It was pacer Mohammed Shami who got rid off Walton when he nicked one to glovesman Uday Kaul behind the stumps.
For India A, left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt (3/76) was the most successful bowler while Zaheer (16-5-44-1), Shami (1/59) and Perveez Rasool (1/71) got a wicket apiece.
It was a mixed day in office for the Indian bowlers as they got a few wickets in quick succession but also had toil hard during partnership.
Brathwaite was more intent on defending most of the times although he did hit a few boundaries. He found an able ally in Fudadin as they trudged along at a decent pace. He played the new ball well enjoying crucial first wicket partnership of 55 runs with his partner Kieran Powell (33) but skipper Kirk Edwards and Narasingh Deonarine squandered their chance of scoring some runs on a good strip.
Edwards, who had nearly missed a century in the previous Test was stumped by wicketkepper Uday Kaul in the very first over after lunch off left-am orthodox spinner Bharghav Bhatt for 18.
Zaheer, who has been out of Indian squad since last year, got his only wicket in his second spell. He got one to dart in to left-hander Deonarine was adjudged leg before.
As Brathwaite watched his captain and Deonaraine get back to dressing room, he settled down and steadied the West Indies innings with the gutsy Fudadin at the other end.
It was Bhatt who dismissed Fudadin trapping him leg before but the batsman didn't seem too happy with umpire Suresh Shastri's decision.
Off-spinner Rasool, who had a match-haul of seven wickets in the last 'Test', got rid of Brathwaite in the next over, caught behind by Kaul in the very next over.
The Indian bowlers tried hard to make early inroads but Zaheer and Shami did precious little with the new ball. West Indies lost only one wicket before lunch in their bid to give a solid platform for the later batsmen to capitalise on and put a big total as they did in the Mysore 'Test'.
Brief Scores: West Indies A (1st Innings) 283/6 in 90 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 82, Assad Fudadin 63, Bhargav Bhatt 3/76, Zaheer Khan 1/44) vs India A. Match to continue.
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