England XI's 282 wasn't challenging enough for strokeplayers of different hues in the India A line-up. Ajinkya Rahane led the way with controlled hitting, guiding his team to a six-wicket win in the second warm-up game at the Brabourne stadium. The opener proved his fitness with an 83-ball 91, giving the visitor a taste of the trouble he could cause in the ODIs starting from Sunday.
Rahane also guided partners Sheldon Jackson (59 off 56) and Rishabh Pant (59 off 36). He rotated the strike as Jackson slipped into groove and was a calming influence on Pant's impetuosity. The skipper was a cut above the rest, showcasing form and confidence, scoring the most in the match and clearing doubts about his finger injury with power-packed shots.
Pant's flourish at the crease was the icing. The left-hander survived awkward moments at the start, regained confidence to leave the fans breathless with his brand of clean hitting. He blasted eight fours and two sixes. The India A youngster crossed 50 in 32 balls with a six swatted over mid-wicket.
Earlier, India A bowlers Shahbaz Nadeem (2-41), Parvez Rasool (3-38) and Ashok Dinda (2-55) benefitted from the aggressive intent of the English batsmen. Nadeem, asked to bowl a long spell, disrupted the visitor's charge with two wickets. Alex Hales' attempted flick to mid-wicket found Rahane crouching to take a low catch. The visitor's anxiety against spin surfaced when Eoin Morgan, deceived by Nadeem's change in pace, gifted him a catch.
Off-spinner Rasool sent back Jos Buttler in the same manner.
After Rahane lost the toss, India A got lucky with the first wicket. Opener Jason Roy's helmet flap fell on the stumps while attempting a pull against Pradeep Sangwan. Dinda's swing and pace got rid of an aggressive Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali -- both nicked to keeper Pant.
Ben Stokes got inside the line and connected two scoops against Nadeem. But he perished trying to clear the long-on fence against Rasool.
Tailenders Adil Rashid and David Willey were more adventurous in an entertaining 71-run stand.
England XI 282 all out in 48.5 overs (Bairstow 64, Willey 38 not out; Rasool 3-38)
India A 283-4 in 39.4 overs (Rahane 91, Pant 59; Ali 1-46)
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