HUBLI: Zaheer Khan took four wickets to build on skipper Cheteshwar Pujara's magnificent triple century as India 'A' levelled the unofficial three 'Test' series with a comprehensive innings and 54 runs win at KSCA Hubli Cricket Ground here on Saturday.
West Indies 'A' faced a Herculean task to save the match on the final day and despite the brave efforts of Narsingh Deonarine, the visitors were done in by Zaheer and Abhishek Nayar and bowled out for 242.
Deonarine and Assad Fudadin resumed on the overnight score of 116 for 3 and West Indies 'A' would have wanted the pair to extend their fourth wicket partnership, but that wasn't to be as Nayar had Fudadin (49) caught behind by Uday Kaul early in the day.
Nayar was in the thick of action again soon after when clean bowled Jonathan Carter for 12 to leave West Indies 'A' reeling at 165 for 5 and staring at a mammoth task to salvage the match, let alone make India 'A' bat again.
Deonarine was the best batsman for the visitors by a long distance and was well supported by Nikita Miller, who put in a dogged resistance to raise the slimmest of hopes for West Indies 'A'.
Deonarine, who hit 13 boundaries in his 180-ball 99, was unlucky to miss out on a deserved century; and his dismissal triggered a collapse with Zaheer firing on all cylinders.
But, Zaheer, who has his eyes firmly set on making a comeback to the national team, clean bowled Deonarine and Ashley Nurse; with Bhargav Bhatt chipping in with Miller's wicket as the visitors lost three wickets without the addition of a run as they slumped to 234 for 8 from 234 for 6. Zaheer then took his fourth wicket of the innings and finished the match when he clean bowled Miguel Cummins. Wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton was absent hurt for the visitors.
India 'A''s mammoth first innings score of 564 for 9 was courtesy Pujara, who made his third first class triple ton. Gautam Gambhir and Nayar also had good outings, but Virender Sehwag lost out on another opportunity to impress.
BRIEF SCORES: West Indies 'A' 268 (Leon Johnson 81, Assad Fudadin 47, Abhishek Nayar 4-61, Dhawal Kulkarni 3-60) and 242 (Narsingh Deonarine 99, Assad Fudadin 49, Zaheer Khan 4-59, Abhishek Nayar 2-45) LOST TO India 'A' 564 for 9 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 306*, Gautam Gambhir 123, Ashley Nurse 3-106, Narsingh Deonarine 2-78, Nikita Miller 2-112).
Also read: Day 1
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Also read : Day 3