Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a brilliant century but Board President’s XI made heavy weather of a comfortable chase and scraped to a four-wicket win, in the last over, against England Lions in the one-day warm up match at the KCA-St. Xavier's College ground here on Friday.
Gaikwad's blazing knock (110) and his 124-run stand for the second wicket with Ricky Bhui (93 not out) set up the win for his team. But it came after a few tense moments as England Lions picked up late wickets.
In full flow
A close finish looked highly unlikely when Gaikwad was in full flow and BP XI was cruising at 218 for one. His dismissal began the rot as England Lions picked up five cheap wickets to push the issue into the last over.
However, Bhui kept his composure to play the big shots under pressure while Mayank Markande hit the winning runs in the last over from Jaime Overton.
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The highlight of Gaikwad's knock was the ease with which he played the fast bowlers.
In alliance with captain Ishan Kishan, Gaikwad laid the foundation for the chase with a 94-run stand for the first wicket. Bhui, too, got into his groove and the partnership for the second wicket prospered to take BPXI to the doorstep of victory.
Earlier, opting to bat England Lions was given a good start by opener Alex Davies, who scored freely against medium-pacers Navadeep Saini and Tushar Deshpande.
However, the arrival of spin stymied the scoring. Jayanat Yadav, along with Markande, put in a tidy shift and chained the scoring in the middle overs.
Their nagging length and slowness of track saw both Davies and Sam Hain struggle to play the forcing shots and the run-rate dipped. The second-wicket partnership of 92 runs between the two consumed as many as 20 overs.
Davies (100) completed his century off 123 balls but fell soon after leaving the responsibility of scoring quick runs to internationals Sam Billings and Ollie Pope.
But Mayank returned in the death overs to prise out the twin threat and England ended up with an underwhelming total of 255 for six.
The scores: England Lions 255 for six in 50 overs (Alex Davies 100, Sam Hain 31, Sam Billings 31, Mayank Markande three for 41) lost to Board President’s XI 256 for six in 49.2 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 110, Ricky Bhui 93 not out, Ishan Kishan 36, Zak Chappell three for 53).