Unofficial Test series: Priyank, Abhimanyu make merry for India 'A'

Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran wore Sri Lanka-A down, and took India-A to a commanding 376 for one on the first day of its four-day game at the KSCA Stadium on Saturday.

Abhimanyu Easwaran on way to his century in Belagavi on Saturday.   -  BCCI Image

Priyank Panchal (160, 261b, 9x4, 2x6) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (189 batting, 250b, 17x4, 3x6) wore Sri Lanka-A down, and took India 'A' to a commanding 376 for one on the first day of its four-day game at the KSCA Stadium here on Saturday.

Panchal and Easwaran — both of whom scored in excess of 850 runs in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season — shut the door on the visitors in ruthless fashion.

Fruitless toil

The Sri Lankans were forced to toil on a hot day, only to return frustrated and empty-handed.

Easwaran was the more adventurous, unafraid to throw his bat at loose deliveries. He did not allow spinner Akila Dananjaya to settle down, setting the tone early with a straight six.

Easwaran was comfortable against the pacers as well, using an elegant back-foot punch to anything outside off. The 23-year-old Bengal opener did have his share of luck, though.

He survived a loud leg-before appeal from left-arm fast bowler Vishwa Fernando on 8, and a couple of run-out chances later in his knock.

READ: India 'A' faces star-studded Sri Lanka devoid of fanfare

Skipper Panchal was happy biding his time, blunting the attack with a dead bat. After spending a few nervous minutes on 99, he brought up his century with a quick single to cover.

A lethargic display from the Sri Lankans helped the home team’s cause.

The fielders often dozed off, allowing singles and doubles far too frequently. The bowlers strayed in line and length, and were unable to sustain any sort of pressure.

Some of the tactics used were questionable as well. In an effort to get the batsmen to play against the turn, left-arm chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan left big gaps on the off-side.

Easy pickings

But instead of creating doubt by bowling wicket-to-wicket, Sandakan sprayed it short and well outside off. Panchal and Easwaran pounced on these gracious offerings, collecting easy runs through the point and cover regions.

The Lankans had to wait until the 84th over to get a breakthrough, Panchal edging one from Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Jayant Yadav (6 batting, 14b, 1x4) stuck around until close of play.

The scores: India-A 376 for one in 87 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 189 batting, Priyank Panchal 160) vs Sri Lanka-A.
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