PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Impressive Barbadian fast bowler and Under-19 World Cup winner Chemar Holder struck twice late in the day to pull West Indies A back into the contest but India A held the upper hand heading into tomorrow final day of the second four-day “Test”.
Chasing 278 for victory at Queen’s Park Oval, the visitors closed at 185 for three today, requiring only a further 93 runs to complete victory and take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
They were cruising on 150 without loss behind half-centuries from openers Mayank Agarwal (81) and Priyank Panchal (68) before losing three wickets for 28 runs in the space of 52 deliveries.
Left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer got the breakthrough when he got one to straighten and hit Panchal’s off stump, after the right-hander had faced 121 balls in 2-¾ hours at the crease and struck nine fours and a six.
Holder then had Agarwal caught down the leg slide flicking at a full-length delivery, ending an innings that lasted 134 balls, just under 3-¼ hours and included 10 fours.
The 21-year-old Holder capped off a fine spell when he removed captain Hanuma Vihari for one in the day’s penultimate over, caught by Jermaine Blackwood moving to his right at second slip. Holder ended with two for 34 to follow up his five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Sunil Ambris had earlier stroked an accomplished 71 as West Indies were dismissed for 149 in their second innings after resuming the day in strife on 12 for four.
Crucially, Ambris put on 65 for the fifth wicket with Blackwood who hit 31 before losing patience and edging a drive at a wide ball from seamer Shivam Dube, to be caught at a widish first slip by Easwaran.
He counted two fours and a six off 41 deliveries.
Ambris, yet to score at the start, faced 93 balls in just under 2-¾ hours at the crease and struck 10 fours.
He lost Test wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich for five, driving a return catch to off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham and Reifer three balls later in the same over, bowled without scoring.
Tottering on 92 for seven, West Indies A benefitted from two small partnerships as Ambris put on 26 for the eighth wicket with Rahkeem Cornwall (8) and a further 31 for the ninth wicket with Romario Shepherd (16 not out).
Ambris was eventually ninth out, taken at leg slip by Sandeep Warrier off Gowtham who finished with five for 17.