The three-day practice match between India and West Indies A at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua was all for pacers like Ishant Sharma and Umesha Yadav. As the star Indian pacers showed their wrist magic in an exciting game against West Indies Cricket Board XI on Sunday. Brilliant players Sharma and Yadav who returned back to the Indian squad after a long gap performed like superstars as both picked up three wickets each to bundle out West Indies A squad for 181 runs.
Riding high on confidence India opted to bat first and their decision proved fruitful to them as Virat Kohli-led team came out as winners. India put up a great show against Windies as they extended their lead to 200 runs at stumps on Day 2 in the three-day practice match. Disappointing batting performance of the hosts enforced them to finish on a losing side at the end.
The great bowling spells of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were later followed by one more talented pacer of India. Kuldeep Yadav came on the pitch to pick three crucial wickets in order to lift his squad against tough competitors. The reason behind West Indies A’s painful defeat was their fragile batting performance as none of the batsmen could score more than 50 against India except destructive opener Kavem Hodge who scored just 51. As a result, India won very easily.
India has an invincible journey in the ongoing cricketing tour so far and they are hoping to maintain the same spirit in upcoming Test series also. With this emphatic win practice match, India is now much more confident to take on West Indies squad in the longer cricket format. On the other side, ill-fated West Indies is hoping for a miraculous win against blues as they want to turn the tables around in their favour. It will be interesting to see whether Indian cricketers will keep their winning momentum alive against West Indies or the hosts will bounce back on the track. Both the squads will play the first Test match against each other at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua from August 22nd.
India: 297/5 declared and 84/1; Hanuma Vihari (48*), Ajinkya Rahane (20*)
West Indies A: 181/10; Kavem Hodge (51), Jahmar Hamilton (33), Umesh Yadav (3/19), Ishant Sharma (3/21)