February 18, 2003

Rain helps Leeward Isles hold on for a draw

Staff Reporter

Rain played a crucial part in denying India A a possible win against Leeward Islands in a four-day Carib Beer Cup match that ended at Grove Park, Charlestown, Nevis on Monday.

India A, who had posted 450 in their first innings, were frustrated when rain washed out the pre-lunch session on the third day. Eventually when the Leeward Islands reply got underway, opener Fabian Adams (54) and No 3 Sylvester Joseph helped their side get to 102/2 before rain again intervened - this time decisively.

Draw, then, seemed the most likely result at the start of the fourth day. India A spinners Amit Mishra and Ambati Rayudu, though, brought the match roaring back to life by claiming nine first-innings wickets between them. Joseph, who ended up making 46, and captain Stuart Williams (40) were among their victims. Mishra returned 5/55 in his 18 overs while Rayadu had figures of 4/43.

When the home team returned after being forced to follow-on, opener Junie Mitchum (72) and middle-order bats Tonito Willett (41) and Omari Banks (51) ensured that their side managed 232/4 before play was called off. For India A, Mishra was against the most successful bowler with 3/63.

The first-innings lead, though, helped the tourists open their account with six points. Leeward Islands, meanwhile, had to be content with three points.