Samit Patel gets his first century for England as the visitors end their dig on 426
There were moments to cherish on the final day of the drawn tour game featuring England at the Brabourne Stadium. Left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh (five for 94) got his first five-wicket haul in one and half decades of first class cricket — his previous best was three for 25 against Jammu & Kashmir some eleven years ago.
Significantly, Yuvraj sent down almost 27 overs in the course of the England — the most by an Indian bowler — suggesting that he is ready for the physical demands of Test match cricket.
For the record, when India ‘A’ batted again after bowling England out for 426, Ajinkya Rahane (54) gave his wilting morale a fillip ahead of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy match against Railways at the Wankhede Stadium from Friday, with a half-century.
“It (the knock) helped my confidence,” he said later.
There were two wickets for the persevering James Anderson — that of Abhinav Mukund (3), whose attempted flick resulted in a leading edge and travelled to Ian Bell at mid off, and Murali Vijay (32), who played away and edged to Swann at wide first slip.
In fact, when on 26, Vijay was declared out by umpire Shavir Tarapore, but Alastair Cook gestured it was a ‘bump ball’ he had taken at mid-on off Swann.
Anderson and Tim Bresnan were given the opportunity to bowl a few match overs after the England innings folded up 57 runs ahead of India ‘A’s after lunch.
The morning session began with two crisp boundaries by the overnight pair. Cook used his deft hands to direct the first ball of the day off his front pad to the fine leg fence, and Samit Patel drove straight down the ground.
Cook and Patel batted well within themselves and without taking risks for some time. It may have come a surprise for all at the venue, including the fast-medium bowler Ashoke Dinda and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, that Cook edged one behind to depart after making 119.
Then Patel (104, 284m, 173b, 14x4) went on to get his first century for England, Matt Prior helped himself to a half-century, and Bresnan too spent some time at the crease to see England past the home team’s 369 within the first hour on the third morning.
“He was outstanding and controlled; he’s a very good all-rounder,” said Anderson of Patel.
Steve Finn, who had seemed in discomfort on the first day, did not step out to bat.
India ‘A’ — 1st innings: 369
England — 1st innings: A. Cook c Saha b Dinda 119, N. Compton c Saha b Dinda 0, J. Trott b Raina 56, K. Pietersen c & b Yuvraj 23, I. Bell c Raina b Yuvraj 5, S. Patel c Vijay b Yuvraj 104, M. Prior c Raina b Yuvraj 51, T. Bresnan (not out) 33, G. Swann b Vinay Kumar 6, J. Anderson c Tiwary b Yuvraj 19, S. Finn absent hurt, Extras (b-1, lb-5, nb-2, w-2) 10, Total (in 119.5 overs) 426
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-97, 3-125, 4-133, 5-302, 6-367, 7-368, 8-395, 9-426.
India ‘A’ — 2nd innings: A. Mukund c Bell b Anderson 3, M. Vijay c Swann b Anderson 32, A. Rahane c Anderson b Patel 54, Yuvraj Singh c Bell b Bresnan 14, S. Raina (not out) 19, M. Tiwary (not out) 2; Total (for four wickets in 40 overs) 124.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-69, 3-98, 4-118
England bowling: Anderson 7-1-20-2, Bresnan 10-1-37-1, Patel 16-1-40-1, Swann 5-0-19-0, Pietersen 2-0-8-0.