Khaleel Ahmed’s four-for, Axar Patel’s 81* in vain as West Indies A notch up first win

After conceding the five-match unofficial ODI series, West Indies A managed to pick up their first win of the series in the fourth match against India A at Coolidge on Friday.

After being put in to bat, WI A rode on Roston Chase’s 84 and Devon Thomas’s 70 to score 298/9, before restricting India to 293/9, despite Axar Patel’s late-order heroics of an unbeaten 81 off off just 63 balls. Krunal Pandya and Washington Sundar scored 45 each while for WI A, Keemo Paul and Rovman Powell claimed two wickets each.

For India A, left-armer Khaleel Ahmed continued his rich vein of form, claiming four wickets in the match in his 10 overs. Avesh Khan picked 3/62 while Pandya and Sundar added one wicket each.

Earlier, WI A lost opener Kjorn Ottley for one to Ahmed in the first over but WI international and WI A captain Sunil Ambris and wicketkeeper batsman Thomas added 73 runs for the second wicket before the partnership was broken by Pandya. Thomas then joined forces with Chase to add 81 runs for the third wicket. Thomas fell to Sundar in the 33rd over, bringing to the crease another WI international in Jonathan Carter who scored 50 off 43 balls to put on a 97-run stand with Chase.

Chase was the fourth wicket to fall in the 45th over with the score on 254. WI A stumbled with the lower-order of Powell (1) and Sherfane Rutherford (2) falling cheaply to Khan and Ahmed. respectively. But, No.10 batsman Romario Shepherd’s 21 off eight balls pushed WI total close to the 300-mark.

In reply, India lost both their openers – Rituraj Gaikwad (20) and Anmolpreet Singh (11) inside the first 10 overs. Hanuma Vihari and Pandya then steadied the ship with a stand of 46 runs before Vihari departed for 20 to chase. Skipper Manish Pandey made 24 while Ishan Kishan could only add 14. By the 32nd over, India A were reeling at 160/6, before Sundar and Patel revived the chase with a stand of 60 runs for the seventh wicket. Sundar perished at the hands of Powell, leaving Patel to bat with the tail.

Patel, during his innings hit eight fours and a six and added 69 runs with No.9 Ahmed (11), but WI A bowlers managed to hold their nerves and handed their team a narrow five-run win.