TAUNTON, England – A five-wicket haul from Barbadian left-arm pacer Raymon Reifer has put the West Indies A in firm control after the second day of the second four-day “Test” against India today.
Reifer ran through India’s lower order, snagging 5-50 – his fifth first-class five-wicket haul – to help dismiss them for a paltry 192 in reply to the Windies first innings total of 302.
With a healthy first-innings lead of 110, the Windies closed on 96-1, an overall lead of 206.
Resuming on their overnight total of 301-9, the Windies added just one run to their total, with skipper Shamarh Brooks finishing unbeaten on 122.
Windies pacer Oshane Thomas, bowling with much fire, then struck twice early, claiming the wickets of Ravikumar Samarth for 10 and Hanuma Vihari (4) to limit India to 40-2. That soon slipped to 48 for 3. A 66-run stand between captain Karun Nair and Ankit Bawne took the team past 100 before Reifer sent back Nair for 42. That wicket left India A in even bigger trouble at 114 for 4.
A fighting, unbeaten knock of 43 from Bawne who tried to steady the innings for India was not enough, as Reifer sliced through the lower order to ensure there was no meaningful fightback.
Reifer, who has one Test match under his belt, dismissed Shahbaz Nadeem for 11 and Mohammed Siraj and Rajneesh Gurbani who both failed to score for the addition of just three runs to leave India in tatters on 149 for 9.
Bawne, though, found a good partner in last man Vijay Shankar. The pair added 42 invaluable runs for the last wicket, with Shankar blasting a whirlwind 30 from just 17 balls, to frustrate the Windies bowlers for just over half an hour.
The pacy Thomas, who finished with the respectable figures of 3-66 from his 12 overs, returned to ensure the damage done was not too significant, having Shankar caught behind by wicketkeeper Devon Thomas to bring an end to the innings.
In their second innings, the Windies openers John Campbell and Thomas once again gave them a good start, posting 51 runs in an opening stand.
Once Thomas lost his wicket for 25, caught behind off the bowling of Gurbani, Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood came to the crease and ensured there would be no further drama.
At the close, Campbell was unbeaten on 43 and Blackwood was 23 not out.