Bowlers call shots for India ‘A’; England Lions in trouble

England Lions was shot out for 144 in its first innings and India 'A' enforced the follow-on with a first-innings lead of 248.

Ollie Pope is clean bowled by Navdeep Saini.   -  Sudhakara Jain

It’s all about getting heads down and playing with lots of patience while chasing a big total. England Lions failed to do that and had to pay the price of having to face the follow on against India A on day two of the second ‘Test’ at the SDNRW grounds here on Thursday.

Chasing the first-innings total of 392, the Lions played in a hurry and folded rather cheaply much to the disappointment of a few of the English spectators who had come to cheer the team.

After the top three did a fantastic job for India 'A', steering the team to 282 for three the other day, the middle order and tail crumbled like cookies shortly after lunch. It came as a shock but the Englishmen were pleased to have cut short the dreams of the team in posting a strong total.

Pacer Zak Chappell must have cursed himself for not attacking the stumps on Day 1. He planned his moves this time around and, that well reflected in his first spell today. Bowling with a lot of fire, he snared three wickets in the first hour which sparked some hope of staging a fightback.

Karun Nair was the first to go fidgeting a ball that was drifting outside the leg stump and Ollie Pope plucked the dolly in a flash from behind. Siddesh followed suit playing a full length delivery that crashed onto his stumps. Jalaj Saxena failed to hang on as well.

It could have been worse still for India ‘A’ had Dominic Bess (mid-off) and Ben Duckett (first slip) grabbed on to those chances offered by K. S. Bharat and later Mayank Markande. But there was no great damage done as left-arm spinner Danny Briggs cleaned up the tail in no time.

If you could do one better so could we, seemed to say the India 'A' pacers Varun Aaron (two for 47) and Navdeep Saini (three for 30) as they generated express pace rattling Lions.

Opener Max Holden was trapped plumb in front by the latter and he came back to remove skipper Sam Billings and Ollie Pope. And, it was a sight to see their stumps go cartwheeling. Such was his unerring accuracy.

Spinners Shahbaz Nadeem (three for 32) and Jalaj Saxena (two for 10) took charge from there and it was all over for the Lions from there.

The scores

India A (1st innings): K. L. Rahul c Pope b Chappell 81, Abhimanyu Easwaran c Pope b Bess 117, Priyank Panchal b Bailey 50, Karun Nair c Pope b Chappell 14, Siddesh Lad b Chappell 9, K. S. Bharat lbw Briggs 46, Jalaj Saxena c Gregory b Chappell 1, Shabhaz Nadeem c Mullaney b Gregory 11, Mayank Markande c Gregory b Briggs, Varun Aaron b Briggs 16, Navdeep Saini (not out) 7; Extras (w-2, b-16, lb-11) 29. Total (in 114.4 overs) 392.

Fall of wickets: 1-178, 2-252, 282, 4-282, 5-295, 6-297, 7-335, 8-254, 9-369.

England Lions bowling: Gregory 20-1-75-1, Bailey 27-10-57-1, Briggs 13.4-1-71-3, Chappell 22-6-60-4,Mullaney 14-6-31-0, Bess 18-3-71-1.

England Lions (1st innings): Max Holden lbw Navdeep Saini 19, Ben Duckett c Bharat b Nadeem 15, Sam Hain c Bharat b Aaron 5, Ollie Pope b Saini 25, Sam Billings b Saini 5, Steven Mullaney b Nadeem 19,Lewis Gregory c Saxena b Aaron 11, Dominic Bess c Panchal b Saxena 16, Tom Bailey (not out) 13, Zak Chappell c Lad b Saxena 0, Danny Briggs b Nadeem 6; Extras (b-8, lb-2) 10. Total (in 48.4 overs) 144

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-33, 3-46, 4-59, 5-76, 6-96, 7-107, 8-125, 9-127.

India A bowling: Aaron 12-4-47-2, Saini 10-5-30-3, Saxena 10-4-10-2, Nadeem 9.4-1-32, Markande 7-1-15-0.

England Lions (2nd innings): Max Holden (batting) 5, Ben Duckett.(batting) 13; Extras (lb-4, nb-1) 1. Total (for no loss in six overs) 24.

India A bowling: Saini 2-0-9-0, Nadeem 3-1-9-0, Saxena 1-0-1-0.