Unofficial Test series: Bharat slams ton as India 'A' gains upper hand

Bharat was unafraid to play his strokes, and, in the company of Anmolpreet Singh and Siddhesh Lad kept India 'A' afloat against Sri Lanka 'A'.

K.S. Bharat celebrates after reaching his century in Hubballi on Friday.   -  Kiran Bakle

K.S. Bharat (117, 156b, 14x4, 1x6) held firm even as India 'A' was bowled out for 269 by Sri Lanka-A on the first day of the second ‘Test’, at the KSCA Stadium here on Friday.

Bharat was unafraid to play his strokes, and, in the company of Anmolpreet Singh (65, 116b, 6x4, 2x6) and Siddhesh Lad (32, 47b, 5x4), kept India 'A' afloat.

In reply, Sri Lanka 'A' finished the day on a precarious 87 for four.

Bharat proved to be a fine judge of length, moving deep in his crease in a jiffy to pull the short balls. The wicketkeeper-batsman peppered the mid-wicket fence, and later in his knock, even unleashed a fierce hooked six over fine-leg.

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Anmolpreet looked in good touch as well, impressing with his textbook cover drives. However, an uncharacteristic heave off left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara went straight to long-on.

Much like Anmolpreet, Lad looked in full flow, until he was adjudged caught behind. An upset Lad indicated to the umpire that he had not got an edge.

Pacer Lahiru Kumar (four for 53) and chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan (four for 64) did exceptionally well to keep India-A down to a manageable score.

Lahiru gave his team the ideal start, dismissing openers Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran for ducks. Sandakan then castled Shivam Dube and Jayant Yadav with well-disguised wrong-uns.

Lahiru returned to remove Rahul Chahar (21, 24b, 3x4) and Bharat.

Fast bowlers Sandeep Warrier (two for 18) and Shivam Dube (two for 31) rattled the Sri Lanka-A top-order in the final session.

Niroshan Dickwella, who hit 103 in the previous match, was unbeaten on 27.

The scores

India 'A' 269 in 69.1 overs (K.S. Bharat 117, Anmolpreet Singh 65, Siddhesh Lad 32, Lahiru Kumar four for 53, Lakshan Sandakan four for 64) vs Sri Lanka-A 87 for four in 18 overs (Niroshan Dickwella 27 batting).