Thursday, April 18, 2024

England Lions eye big win


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Ahmedabad, Jan 19: Abhimanyu Easwaran’s failures in potentially career-changing games continued as England ‘A’ is looking good to record a facile victory over India A with only six wickets to get after third day’s play in the first unofficial ‘Test’ here on Friday.
Chasing a tough target of 490, India were precariously placed at 159 for 4 at stumps.
Needing 331 more runs to win on the final day, the Indian team only has two more decent batters — opener B Sai Sudharsan (53 batting, 116 balls) and keeper batter Kona Bharat, who is yet to come in, in its ranks.
Sarfaraz Khan (55 off 67 balls) looked in good touch but failed to convert it into a big score.
Earlier, England Lions batters chanced their arms against spinners Manav Suthar and Pulkit Narang to declare their second innings at 163 for 6 in 29 overs.
Keaton Jennings, after his brilliant 154 in the first essay, smashed 64 off just 65 balls in the second innings. He added 95 with James Rew, whose 56 came off only 61 balls.
At start of the day, India were all out for 227 with Rajat Patidar alone scoring 151.
When India started their chase, skipper Easwaran, who is known for his apparent discomfort against rising deliveries on off-stump line, edged one off pacer Matthew Potts to Ollie Robinson behind the stumps.
Easwaran, who was bowled by pacer Matthew Fisher for 4 in the first innings, has been in India contention for long but one of the biggest criticisms against him is his failure to rise to the big occasions.
“Easwaran has good technique and over 6500 First-Class runs. But just check his stats during big games. The Ranji Trophy quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. He never scores.Look at this match, you could call this is a kind of trial game but in two innings, he was exposed by two fast medium bowlers, who played Test cricket already. On what basis would you promote him to a higher level,” a former national selector questioned.
Brief Scores: England Lions 553/8 and 163/6 declared (Keaton Jennings 64) vs India A 1st Innings 227 (Rajat Patidar 151) and (target 490) 159/4 (Sarfaraz Khan 55, B Sai Sudharsan 53 batting). (PTI)


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