Mayank Markande spins India-A to innings victory

England Lions was shot out for 180, handing India A victory by an innings and 68 runs.

Mayank Markande (centre) celebrates taking the wicket of Dom Bess.   -  Sudhakara Jain

The pitch had some demons in it and leg-break bowler Mayank Markande (five for 31) turned it right and tight to bowl India ‘A’ to an innings and 68 runs win over England Lions on the penultimate day of the second Unofficial Test at the SDNRW grounds here on Friday.

Seventeen wickets fell on Thursday and the home team was confident of wrapping up the series 1-0 as it had three spinners in Shahbaz Nadeem, Markande and Jalaj Saxena to back the solid foundation laid by the batsmen. And they spun the ball viciously for which the Lions, barring opener Ben Duckett (50, 61b, 4x4, 2x6) and Lewis Gregory (44, 49b, 6x4, 1x6), had no answer.

Saxena started it all trapping Max Holden plumb in front but he came in for some punishment as well from Duckett, who hammered him for 16 runs in one over. And, that probably was the only time that the Lions seemed to roar. But Saxena gained sweet revenge by trapping Duckett later in a similar fashion.

Read: Surprise gift for Markande

Further, the introduction of Markande spelt doom for the Lions as the wrist spinner mixed his pace well by bowling slowly in the air and speeding some fast to finish with a deserving five-wicket haul.

The visitor required 224 for the day to make India ‘A’ bat again but failed to read the line and length of Markande and returned to the room disappointed.

“They played like cubs and not like professionals. We did not come here to see a no-show,” said an English spectator.

But Sam Billings, the Lions skipper, admitted that most of his guys had not played top class spin before. “Markande bowled an impressive spell and Nadeem proved his class as well. Also, Navdeep Saini showed us all how to reverse swing.”

“The Indians are tough guys and truly top class. They thoroughly deserve to win,” he added.

Karun Nair, who took some brilliant catches, said the team bowled as a unit and that it was Markande’s day.

“It was a great experience for me and I was happy that the wicket turned out to be pretty helpful. I just bowled in the right areas and it clicked,” said Markande.

But it was Abhimanyu Easwaran, who walked away with the man of the match award for his classy first innings knock of 117.

The scores

India A (1st innings): 392.

England Lions (1st innings): 144

England Lions (2nd innings): Max Holden lbw Saxena 7, Ben Duckett.lbw Saxena 50, Sam Hain lbw Nadeem 15; Ollie Pope lbw Markande 7, Sam Billings c Bharat b Saini 20, Steven Mullaney c Lad b Markande 2, Lewis Gregory c Karun Nair b Markande 44; Dominic Bess c Karun Nair b Markande 6, Tom Bailey c Bharat b Aaron 4, Zak Chappell c Karun Nair b Markande 0, Danny Briggs (not out) 2. Extras (nb-3, b-14, lb-6) 23. Total (in 53.3 overs) 180.

Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-76, 3-83, 4-114, 5-118, 6-140, 7-148, 8-154, 9-155

India A bowling: Saini 11-3-25-1, Nadeem 11-6-25-1, Saxena 12-3-40-2, Varun Aaron 9-1-39-1, Markande10.3-1-31-5.

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