Abhinav, Tiwary make it India A's day
India A 369 for 9 (Tiwary 93, Abhinav 73, Bresnan 3-59, Swann 3-90) v England XI
Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann took three wickets apiece to help England XI cut through India A's top order on day one of the tour match in Mumbai, but it was still the hosts' day. Firstly, fast bowler Steven Finn experienced a niggle in his right thigh, for which he required a scan, and then India A forged a comeback led by a determined Manoj Tiwary. They ended the day on 369 for 9, with the last pairing of Vinay Kumar and Parvinder Awana knocking off quick runs.
Finn felt a pain in his thigh while chasing a ball within the first hour of play at the Brabourne Stadium, after bowling just four overs. Being a bowler down, however, didn't prevent England's bowlers from leaving India in some trouble at 190 for 6. India scored rather quickly all through, with opener Abhinav Mukund and Yuvraj Singh, getting to half-centuries, but none of the batsmen could kick on. It needed a 110-run seventh-wicket partnership between Tiwary and Irfan Pathan to lift them to a competitive score.
After choosing to bat on a greenish pitch, India lost opener M Vijay early through a run-out; Bresnan effected the run-out and followed it up with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for 4. But the other opener, Abhinav, did not back down, scoring 73 off 83 deliveries with 16 boundaries.
At 57 for 2, he was joined by Yuvraj. After being dropped first ball by the square-leg fielder, Yuvraj stuck around, sharing a 56-run stand with Abhinav. Once Abhinav fell - rather unluckily caught by Ian Bell at short leg while flicking - Suresh Raina could not make his chance count. When wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha departed in the 47th over, India had slipped to 190 for 6.
Then Tiwary and No. 8 Irfan began the repair work. They batted for 28 overs, carrying their team to 300 before Irfan fell four short of his half-century. Offspinner Swann had by then taken three wickets.
Tiwary batted differently to Abhinav; while he did play some fluent strokes, he was disciplined and patient, willing to bide his time. Four overs before close of play, Bresnan removed Tiwary, as he played over a yorker. Bresnan got No.10 Ashok Dinda off the very next delivery, but the last pair went on to add 22 and make sure England XI would have to come out again on day two.
England will play two more warm-up games after this one, against Mumbai A and - it was confirmed on Tuesday - Haryana, before the first Test begins in Ahmedabad on November 15.