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Deepak Chahar, Mayank Agarwal help India A cruise to first win

Mayank Agarwal plays a cautious forward defence Getty Images

India A 222 for 3 (Agarwal 112, Gill 58*) beat West Indies A 221 (Thomas 64*, Chahar 5-27) by seven wickets
Scorecard

Grace Road had a preview of the batting strength in this India A side last week when they blazed their way to 458 for 4 in a 50-over match against a Leicestershire team, albeit one that bore very little resemblance to the first XI.

It was the second-highest List A total in the history of limited-overs cricket, at least for a few hours (bizarrely, it was overtaken the same afternoon when England ran amok against Australia, just up the road in Nottingham). Regardless of the inexperience of the opposition, it was quite an achievement.

No feat of that nature was needed on their return to the Leicester ground, where they overhauled a modest West Indies A total with almost 12 overs to spare to register their first points in the tri-series with England Lions, who beat both on consecutive days at Derby last week and take on India A for a second time on this ground on Tuesday.

The chief architects of the seven-wicket victory were the seam bowler Deepak Chahar, who took 5 for 27 as the West Indies side were dismissed for 221, and Mayank Agarwal, their opening batsman, who added an elegantly constructed 112 to the unbeaten 151 he made here last week.

The Kings XI Punjab batsman, at 27 one of the senior players in a young Indian team, completed his 10th List A hundred from 88 deliveries, having just hit the mountainous 6ft 5in offspinner Rahkeem Cornwall for a towering six into the car park at the Bennett End, extending his boundary count to 11 fours and two sixes before he was caught at mid-on off the pacy left-armer Dominic Drakes.

The 18-year-old Shubman Gill, who with opener Prithvi Shaw was a member of the India team that won the Under-19 World Cup in February, was next-highest scorer with an unbeaten 57 after being dropped on 8.

It was a disappointing effort by the West Indians, who have brought an experienced group of players and, having beaten the Lions in a three-match series at home earlier in the year would have hoped to do better than lose both their opening two fixtures.

They won the toss and chose to bat first under a cloudless sky but made a poor start by losing the key wicket of Jermaine Blackwood to only the third ball of the innings.

Caught at slip off a needlessly extravagant stroke outside off stump, Blackwood was the first of right-arm seamer Chahar's five victims on the way to his best figures in List A cricket.

He is the bowler who burst upon the scene eight years ago with figures of 8 for 10 on first-class debut in a match in which Rajasthan bowled out Hyderabad for 21.

Regular injury setbacks have not helped but his career since but he now seems to be on an upwards path. He was the leading wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 competition this year as Rajasthan reached the final, after which he was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for the IPL. This is his maiden India A tour and he has 11 wickets in four matches thus far.

He also produced good late movement to have Andre McCarthy caught behind in his opening spell and returned to break a building partnership between Rovman Powell and Devon Thomas, the wicketkeeper, whose unbeaten 64 - the best moment of which was a slog-sweep for six off spinner Krunal Pandya that threatened the windows in The Meet - was the only half-century of the innings.

Thomas apart, Chandrapaul Hemraj, who had survived a difficult chance to slip on 15, was the most impressive of the West Indian batsmen and his run-out on 45, thanks to a superb piece of fielding by Gill, was a key moment in the innings.