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June 4, 2012
India 277 (Rohit Sharma 94, Saha 56, Carter 5-63) and 22 for 3 need 165 runs to beat West Indies A 252 (Permaul 66, Ahmed 3-43) and 210 (Simmons 53, Sharma 4-41)
West Indies A redressed a disappointing second-innings collapse during a spirited last hour with the new ball on the third day, nipping out three India A batsmen to leave the chase of a middling target in the balance. The hosts had failed to consolidate two positions of advantage during their innings and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rohit Sharma made India A favourites, until the twist late in the day.
Defending 186, Jason Holder and Delorn Johnson, two six-foot fast bowlers, struck three times in ten overs. Holder had Abhinav Mukund caught at third slip with an outswinger, handing the India A opener his second duck of the game, and hit Ajinkya Rahane's off stump after the batsman offered no shot. Johnson got rid of the nightwatchman, inducing an edge to slip from Rahul Sharma, which meant Cheteshwar Pujara had to survive 21 scoreless minutes before stumps. Shikhar Dhawan remained not out on 13; India were 22 for 3 and needed 165 on the final day.
West Indies A could have been in a stronger position had their middle and lower order shown more mettle earlier in the day - they lost eight wickets for 76 runs and were dismissed for 210. No one was caught; six batsmen were leg before and the other four were bowled. They had made a sound start, with Lendl Simmons scoring 53 off 77 balls in an opening stand of 68, before two wickets fell in quick succession. Simmons and Donovan Pagon were lbw to Shami Ahmed and Rahul Sharma; West Indies A were 69 for 2.
The second-wicket partnership between Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner produced 65. Brathwaite was slow and steady at his end, but once Bonner was lbw to Kumar for 36, the collapse began at the other. West Indies A lost two wickets with the score on 134. Kumar also dismissed Brathwaite for 50 during a six-over spell of reverse swing that produced 3 for 9, after which part-time offspinner Rohit began to spin through the lower order to pick up career-best figures of 4 for 41.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Graeme Smith was the last of South Africa's old guard. The roots of the new one need to grow deeper