Like the intermittent drizzle that never threatened the course of play, the India ‘A’ bowlers toiled for a large part without results before they found a second wind after imbibing tea, in the last session.
The West Indies ‘A’ batsmen, meanwhile, notably skipper Kirk Edwards and opener Kraigg Brathwaite, also had lots to cheer about at the Gangothri Glades Ground here on Wednesday.
The duo’s 172-run second-wicket partnership helped the visitor score 264 for five at close on the opening day. In a sense it was a mixed-bag for both teams in a series involving three four-day matches.
The two men — Edwards and Brathwaite — from Barbados are dramatically different from each other. Edwards’ aggression (91, 162b, 11x4, 1x6) offered a riveting counter to Brathwaite’s obduracy (92, 215b, 12x4) but their contrasting styles blended well, especially between lunch and tea when 30 overs yielded 115 runs.
After lunch, Edwards simply sought his desserts on the field. Ishwar Pandey was on-driven with panache and another was muscled towards the mid-wicket fence. Parvez Rasool was then hoisted, a strike that threatened limb and laptops in the press box.
Soon Ashoke Dinda stepped in for his second spell and Edwards strode forward even before the seamer had delivered. An offended Dinda’s bouncer whizzed past Edwards. The riposte was quick. The next ball, short and climbing, was pulled and the cat-and-mouse game continued much to the crowd’s delight. Dinda bounced, mixed it up with a surprise-yorker but Edwards never relinquished his command.
At the other end, Brathwaite trudged towards his 50 before repeatedly cutting the spinners.
In the morning, Cheteshwar Pujara opted to field on winning the toss and Mohammed Shami rapped Kieran Powell’s pad in the third over, while the batsman played across.
The Windies then opted for caution and consolidation through Edwards and Brathwaite as they ambled towards a lunch score of 58 for one.
It proved to be the ideal springboard for Edwards and Brathwaite to hasten the pace in the afternoon though India ‘A’ marginally came back in the post-tea hour. Edwards failed to counter Pandey’s yorker, Brathwaite edged Rasool and the off-spinner also plucked a diving catch in his follow-through to dismiss Narsingh Deonarine.