India-A prevails over England Lions, goes one-up in ODI series

Half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Ishan Kishan help India-A get to the win after Sam Billings' unbeaten century helped England Lions to help a competitive total.

Ishan Kishan's unbeaten half-century helped India A to a victory.   -  Special Arrangement

India-A, with its batting depth, made light of the challenging total posted by England Lions to go one-up in the five-match One-Day International series at the Sports Hub, Kariyavattom, on Wednesday.

The three-wicket win that came in the first ball of the final over, chasing 286 for a win, was made possible by a half-century from skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who held the innings together in the early part of the innings, and the aggressiveness of Ishan Kishan and cameos from Shreyas Iyer, Anmolpreet Singh and Krunal Pandya.

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England was made to bat first after India won the toss and the defeat for the visitor came after what seemed to be a match-winning century by the England Lions’ skipper Sam Billings (108 n.o.).

The flat wicket, which gave batsmen of either side to showcase their skills, certainly did provide entertaining cricket all the way before the Indians sealed their supremacy in style.

The English had a good start with Alex Davies, Ben Duckett and Sam Hain all combining to give some problems for the home side.

100

Sam Billings's unbeaten century came off just 104 deliveries.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Davies worked his way to a half-century before Billings took over and added momentum to his side’s innings and got to a well-deserving century with a massive six off Shardul Thakur over long-on. His unbeaten innings, aided by five boundaries and four sixes, came off just 104 deliveries.

Anmolpreet outscored his skipper as the Indian reply got underway to keep the side well in control before being dismissed for 33 (66 for one). Shreyas kept the tempo going while contributing 45 and adding 73-runs for the second wicket.

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Rahane, comparatively, was slow in his approach and after the skipper exited after having made 59, the home team slumped to 166 for four. However, Ishan carried on gallantly and led the Indian charge which came to an end only after the wicket-keeper too had a posted a stroke-filled half-century.

The teams will square off in the second match of the series on Friday.

The scores: England Lions 285 for seven in 50 overs (Sam Billings 108 n.o., Alex Davies 54, Siddarth Kaul three for 54) lost to India-A 288 for seven in 49.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 59, Shreyas Iyer 45, Ishan Kishan 57 n.o., Zak Chappell three for 84).