NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Test pacer Miguel Cummins struck twice in the day’s final over as West Indies A clawed their way back into the opening four-day “Test” after India A had taken the upperhand on day two of the contest in Antigua today.
The Barbadian right-arm fast bowler removed Gowtham Krishnappa lbw for six to the second ball and then had Shahbaz Nadeem adjudged caught behind down the leg-side off the day’s final delivery, forcing India A to limp to the finish on 299 for eight on a rain-hit day.
Cummins’ strikes followed that of fellow Barbadian fast bowler Chemar Holder in the previous over which accounted for top-scorer Shivam Dube for 71, as the visitors lost three wickets for seven runs in the day’s last 10 balls.
Dube had combined with Test wicketkeeper Wriddihiman Saha, who made an unbeaten 61, to help fortify the India A innings after they resumed from their overnight 70 for one at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Priyank Panchal, resuming on 31, made 49 while Shubman Gill chipped in with 40 and captain Hanuma Vihari, 31.
Cummins, who played his last Test a year ago, was the best home side bowler with three for 36 while off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (2-51) and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-69) claimed two wickets apiece.
Panchal and Gill, who resumed on nine, extended their second wicket stand to 43 before being separated, when the right-handed Panchal missed a paddle sweep at Warrican and was plumb lbw.
He faced 115 balls and struck five fours.
Gill, who counted three fours and a six in an 87-ball innings, put on 30 for the third wicket with Vihari to lift India A to 134 for two but the tourists surrendered their advantage, losing a wicket on either side of lunch without a run added.
In the last over before the break, Gill lost his concentration and heaved at Cornwall, managing only to sky a simple catch to Jermaine Blackwood running around from slip to short point.
And off the first ball after lunch, Srikar Kona inexplicably holed out to long off the first ball he faced, to give Cornwall his second wicket of the over.
Vihari, who faced 80 balls and notched two fours, anchored a 34-run, fifth wicket stand to steady the innings but his promising knock was cut short when he hooked at Cummins for Holder to take a brilliant low catch at long leg.
Tottering on 168 for five and still 60 runs adrift of West Indies A’s target, India A were rescued by Dube and Saha who posted 124 for the sixth wicket.
Dube, 26, was bold in approach, striking seven fours and four sixes off 108 balls in a shade over two hours while Saha, returning from a long injury spell, has so far faced 146 balls in just over three hours at the crease, and struck six fours.
Recalled for a spell with the new ball, Holder bowled Dube with a full length delivery to end the stand before Cummins sliced through the tail.