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’ in Shimoga on Wednesday.
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.
Fudadin joined Brathwaite in the post lunch session 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 keeper 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-arm 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 into left-hander Deonarine who was adjudged leg before.
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