India ‘A’ began their campaign in the 50-over tri-series in England on a losing note after going down by seven wickets to the Engliand Lions on Friday.
Coached by Rahul Dravid, the Indians started their tour of England with two warm-up victories over an ECB XI and Leicestershire.
However, their batting, which had flourished in the two warm-up games, let them down at Derby on Friday in the opening game of the tri-series which also involves the West Indies ‘A’ team.
India ‘A’ skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bat first against the England Lions but his side could only muster 232 in 46.3 overs.
India’s opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal had put up a 221-run stand against Leicestershire but were unable to repeat that performance on Friday. Shaw was the first to fall for just seven before Agarwal departed for 23.
Thereafter, the middle-order of Shubman Gill, Iyer and Rishabh Pant tried to give the innings some momentum but failed to get going despite getting starts.
Pant top-scored for the Indians with a 55-ball 64 which included two sixes and seven boundaries.
Pacer Tom Helm and spinner Liam Dawson accounted for seven Indian wickets with the latter finishing with figures of 4-30 from his 10 overs.
In reply, despite Shardul Thakur removing opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore fairly early, England Lions romped to a comfortable win on the back of a splendid unbeaten ton (128) from Nick Gubbins.
The hosts reached the target with ease inside 42 overs to start their campaign with an impressive win. Thakur was the most successful bowler for the visitors with 2-30 from his seven overs.
The India ‘A’ side will now take on the West Indies in their next match of the tri-series which takes place on Monday at Leicester.
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Sri Lanka suffered yet another setback on the eve of the third Test against the West Indies with their board announcing that veteran spinner Rangana Herath had hurt his hand during training on Friday.
“Rangana Herath is injured and is doubtful for the 3rd test match. Herath split the webbing on his right hand between the fourth and fifth finger during a practice session held ahead of the third Test,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
Herath’s injury means the Sri Lankans are without a possible leadership option for the deciding day-night Test in Barbados with regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s participation looking unlikely.
Chandimal faces a lengthy ban. He appealed the one-Test ban for ball tampering in the second Test but admitted to the more serious offence of ‘conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.’
The third day of the second Test in St Lucia last Saturday was held up by two hours after the tourists failed to come out, in protest at the umpires’ decision to impose a five-run penalty and replace the match ball.
If Chandimal doesn’t play, seamer Suranga Lakmal will most likely lead Sri Lanka.