Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar staked a strong claim as Ravindra Jadeja’s replacement for the upcoming Test series with a match-haul of nine wickets as Bangladesh A’s tail wagged vigorously to prevent India A from winning the first unofficial Test match here on Friday.
Having conceded a huge first innings lead of 353 runs, Bangladesh A was hanging by a thread at 343 for nine after battling for 151 overs in the second innings before the match ended in a draw.
Having got four wickets in the first innings, Saurabh was brilliant in the second innings as he had figures of five for 63 in 43 overs but off-spinner Jayant Yadav’s lack of penetration (one for 134 in 47 overs) from the other end became the difference between a defeat and a draw.
Saurabh’s match figures had an impressive look - 51-21-86-9 - while Jayant paled in comparison.
The Haryana offie’s inability to provide breakthroughs prompted Abhimanyu Easwaran to introduce Sarfaraz Khan for a spell and he also got a wicket.
Zakir Hasan (173, 402 balls) was the chief architect of Bangladesh’s draw as he batted for close to 10-and-a-half hours before being the eighth batter to be dismissed by Saurabh.
The crucial partnership that saved the day for Bangladesh A was the eighth wicket stand of 13 runs between Zakir and Nayeem Hasan (five off 45 balls). Together, they thwarted India for 15.4 overs and that proved to be crucial.
Towards the end, Nos. 10 and 11, Rejaur Rahaman Raja (five not out, 16 balls) and Khaled Ahmed (0 not out, two balls) defended the last 14 deliveries of the game to eke out a draw.