Durham pace duo of Matthew Potts and Brydon Carse wreaked havoc on a depleted India A side as they bowled the hosts out for a modest 192 to give England Lions upper hand in the third and final unofficial Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday. At stumps on the opening day of the four-day fixture, England Lions were placed strongly at 98/1, with Alex Lees batting on 48 (106b) in the company of Oliver Price (20; 63b). The visitors trailed by 96 runs in their first innings.
Potts returned with excellent figures of 6/57, his second successive six-wicket haul, and now has 18 wickets from three matches.
In response, opener Lees anchored the innings with a composed knock and Keaton Jennings contributed 17 runs before being dismissed by Akash Deep. Price and Lees then put together an unbroken 71-run stand to see through the opening day.
For India A, left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh bowled a tight spell, but remained wicket-less (8-2-19-0) and he would look to give early breakthroughs to help his team regain control.
Leading the three-match series 1-0, the Abhimanyu Easwaran-led side was asked to bat first and faced an early setback when the skipper was trapped in front of the match’s first ball.
After his patient approach, Tamil Nadu left-hander shouldered arm an incoming Potts delivery in another horror lbw dismissal, which left India A at 19/2 inside seven overs.
Karnataka batter Devdutt Padikkal emerged as the lone fighter with his 65 (96b) but lacked significant support from his teammates.
The England Lions pace duo of Potts and Carse maintained pressure on the Indians, with the latter chipping in with four crucial wickets after the early breakthroughs effected by his colleague.
India A, who won the previous unofficial Test by an innings and 16 runs, face a daunting challenge to fight back in this game.
Brief scores: India A 1st Innings 192; 50.2 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 65, Saransh Jain 64, Tilak Varma 22; Matthew Potts 6/57, Brydon Carse 4/52).
England Lions 1st Innings 98/1; 34 overs (Alex Lees 48 batting, Oliver Price 20 batting). Match to continue.
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