HUBLI: Mumbai medium-pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar combined to shoot out West Indies ‘A’ for just 268 at the KSCA Ground here, as India ‘A’ started strongly in their attempt to equalise the three-match series, on Wednesday.
After Cheteshwar Pujara elected to field on the opening day of the third and final unofficial 'Test', the Caribbeans were boosted by No.3 left-hand batsman Leon Johnson (81), and had reached a seemingly secure 175/3, before a lower-order collapse cut short their innings.
India made a watchful start through VA Jagadeesh and Gautam Gambhir and were on 10 without loss in the five overs they had to contend with before close of play.
Once Zaheer Khan had provided the early breakthrough by dismissing the prolific opener Kraigg Brathwaite for one, Johnson spearheaded partnerships of 45, 70 and 52 for the second, third and fourth wickets respectively, before he was trapped leg-before by Nayar in the 52nd over of the afternoon.
Narsingh Deonarine (35) and Assad Fudadin (47) provided some extra resistance: the former through his alliance with Johnson, the latter shoring things up with the tail – before the Indian bowlers orchestrated a through mopping up of the bottom half.
The last five wickets fell for just 28 runs as West Indies ‘A’ collapsed from 175/3 in 51.5 overs to 268 all out in the 68th over. Nayar finished with figures of 4/61 from 20.4 overs, while Kulkarni had 3/60 from his 16. Zaheer, notwithstanding his early wicket, failed to impress, turning in 15 overs for his only success.
Brief scores, Day 1: West Indies 'A' 268 in 77.4 overs (Johnson 81, Fudadin 47, Deonarine 35, Nayar 4/61, Kulkarni 3/60) vs India 'A' 10 for no loss in five overs.