TAROUBA, Trinidad – West Indies “A” face a daunting battle for survival to save the third “Test” against India “A”, after teenager Shubman Gill punished their bowling to collect his second first-class double hundred.
The home team reached 37 without loss at the close on the third day of the contest at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy with hometown boy Jeremy Solozano not out on 20 and veteran opener Montcin Hodge not out on 15.
West Indies “A” need a further 336 to avoid a clean sweep of all the matches between the two sides during the Tour, following an undefeated 204 from the 19-year-old Gill and 118 from his captain Hanuma Vihari, as the Indians piled up 365 for four declared in their second innings.
The hosts started the day looking to make further inroads into the visitors’ batting, after India “A” appeared mired in trouble at 23 for three when stumps were drawn thee previous evening.
Off-spinner Akim Fraser appeared to tighten the screws, when he bowled night-watchman Shahbaz Nadeem for 13 with his first delivery in the morning’s ninth over, playing back to to a sharply turning off-break.
That dismissal was the last sighting of success for a frustrated West Indies “A”, as Gill and Vihari plundered the attack in adding 315 – unbroken – for the fourth wicket.
Gill, resuming the morning on five, hit 19 fours and two sixes from 248 balls in 5 ½ hours at the crease and Vihari counted 10 fours and a six from 221 balls in just short of 4 ¾ hours.
West Indies “A” went wicket-less in the afternoon session, after the pair carried India “A” to 190 for four at lunch with Gill reaching his hundred before the interval and were well entrenched when they reached 278 for four at tea.
At the break, Gill had reached 146 with Vihari on 92, closing in on his 18th first-class hundred, and both completed their landmarks in the final session.
First, Vihari reached triple figures with a searing straight drive for four off Chemar Holder in the fourth over after the break and Gill, who has already played two One-Day Internationals for the senior India side, brought up his double-hundred in the first over after the final drinks break when he steered part-time seamer Jermaine Blackwood to backward point for a couple.
INDIA “A” 1st Innings 201
WEST INDIES “A” 1st Innings 194
INDIA “A” 2nd Innings
(overnight 23 for three)
P. Panchal lbw b Holder 3
A. Easwaran lbw b Holder 6
M. Agarwal b Cummins 5
S. Gill not out 204
S. Nadeem b Fraser 13
*H. Vihari not out 118
Extras (b11, lb2, w1, nb2) 16
TOTAL (4 wkts dec, 90 overs) 365
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-14, 3-14, 4-50
Bowling: Cummins 10-3-28-1, Holder 22-3-88-2, Reifer 16-3-42-0, Fraser 24-1-104-1, Cariah 13-0-72-0, Blackwood 5-0-18-0
WEST INDIES “A” 2nd Innings(target: 373 runs)
M. Hodge not out 15
J. Solozano not out 20
Extras (lb2) 2
TOTAL (without loss, 15 overs) 37
Bowling: Umesh 5-1-17-0, Avesh Khan 3-1-5-0, Gowtham 4-1-10-0, Nadeem 3-1-3-0
Position: West Indies “A” need 336 more to win with all second innings wickets standing
Umpires: Z. Bassarath, D. Ramdhanie
Match referee: M. Ragoonath
Reserve umpire: K. Sandy
Source: CMC/CWI Media