Rahul, Easwaran take sting out of England Lions attack

India A finished the first day at 282 for three against the England Lions in Mysuru, with Easwaran scoring 117 and Rahul 81.

Abhimanyu Easwaran of India A celebrating after his century against England Lions during the England Lions Tour of India 2019 at SDNRW ground in Mysuru.   -  sudhakara jain

Abhimanyu Easwaran stood tall on a hot day to score a fluent 117 (222b, 13x4, 1x6) that saw India A finish at 282 for three against the England Lions on day one of the second ‘Test’ at Mysuru’s Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground on Wednesday.

It was K. L. Rahul who played like a master in the morning, the stylish opener showing great confidence while dealing with pacemen Lewis Gregory and Tom Bailey at the start.

Both the bowlers made the best use of crosswinds and the moisture in the pitch to trouble the Indian openers in the first hour. But the Indian duo stood the test smartly and, from there, runs flowed from their blades with ease.

Rahul cover drove Gregory on the first ball he faced after lunch to complete his half-century. He carefully selected his shots and drove and pulled with aplomb, but Easwaran preferred to tread a safe path.

Rahul had played a few matches in Mysuru before and had a fair understanding of the pitch. His best was a 157 for his state Karnataka against Vidarbha in 2012.

And the crowd had turned up in good numbers with the hope of seeing him score another big ton. But he disappointed them by falling to pacer Zak Chappell for 81. To a delivery that stood up, Rahul went on the defensive and offered a simple chance to Ollie Pope behind.

But by then he had already stitched together a healthy 178-run stand for the opening wicket that may well have a say over the next few days.

Easwaran: "Getting a 100 for India A is always special and pleasing."   -  sudhakara jain

 

Easwaran carried on from there, knocking the ball around with comfort to race to his century. He further piled on the agony on the English bowlers with a 74-run partnership for the second wicket with the in-form Priyank Panchal (50, 88b, 7x4) before going down in similar fashion to Rahul.

But, this time around, the bowler was right-arm off-spinner Dominic Bess. Panchal fell later in the day to a ball from Bailey that skidded on to the stumps.

“Getting a 100 for India A is always special and pleasing,” Easwaran said after the match.

“The hard ball did a bit, but we were clever enough to tackle the opening spell,” he added.

'Need to fight back'

For the Englishmen, it was a hard day’s toil. There were some loud shouts for leg-before that went in vain, and they returned to the dressing room on a rather sombre note, having picked just three wickets.

“It would have been nice if we had got more, but they are a good side. We will have to fight back from here,” said England Lions all-rounder Steven Mullaney.