West Indies A v India A, 3rd unofficial Test, Gros Islet, 2nd day June 17, 2012

Powell century puts West Indies A ahead

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies A 320 for 8 (Powell 139, Thomas 50, Saxena 3-55) lead India A 230 (Saxena 61, Bishoo 3-40, Carter 3-67) by 90 runs

Kieran Powell, fresh from a tough Test tour of England, hit his highest first-class score of 139 as West Indies A took a 90-run lead over India A in the series-deciding third unofficial Test in St Lucia. Resuming on his overnight score of 16, Powell batted almost till stumps on day two, and struck ten fours and three sixes in an innings that lasted nearly seven hours.

Powell's century was the first in a series that has been difficult for batsmen on both sides and took him past India A captain Cheteshwar Pujara's match-winning unbeaten 96 in the first unofficial Test. Powell was the common factor in several key partnerships with the middle order as he added 54 for the second wicket with Kyle Corbin, 51 for the third with Nkrumah Bonner, 67 for the fifth with Donovan Pagon and 78 for the sixth with Devon Thomas, who was the second-highest scorer in the innings with 50.

Jalaj Saxena, the Madhya Pradesh allrounder, picked up three wickets with his offspin while fast bowlers Shami Ahmed and Parvinder Awana had two strikes each. But West Indies A were able to build partnerships throughout the day, apart from when Saxena sent back Bonner and Jonathan Carter off successive deliveries to reduce the hosts to 142 for 4.

India A struck in the second over of the day when Awana had Kraigg Brathwaite edging an outswinger to the wicketkeeper. But Powell and Corbin hit back aggressively in a breezy stand which ended when Corbin charged out only to be stumped off left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar. The spinners were able to get through some tight overs after Corbin's departure. Saxena, finding some turn and bounce, had Bonner caught at short leg and trapped Carter in front first ball with a straight delivery.

Powell took control, negating the spinners with several lofted straight hits while Pagon played some powerful drives off the fast bowlers. It was Saxena again who ended the stand, catching Pagon off his own bowling. The keeper Thomas joined Powell and the duo went after the spinners. India A delayed taking the new ball till the 91st over and Powell and Thomas put together the highest partnership of the innings.

When finally taken, the new ball proved effective immediately, as Ahmed and Awana had Thomas and Veerasammy Permaul edging to the slip cordon. India A ended the day on a positive note when Ahmed had Powell miscuing a pull off a bouncer a couple of overs before stumps. But Powell had ensured that West Indies A held the advantage going into the final two days of the game.

Powell was happy with his effort after having struggled against England with 71 runs in five innings. "Coming out of the tour of England I noticed a few things in my technique which I wanted to iron out, so I was happy I got a lot of time in the middle. That was the most important thing for me," Powell said. "I was able to settle down and play at my pace. My movements, both back and forward, as well as the way I played against the spinners have given me confidence. I had to battle really hard. The Indians did not give us any easy runs. We are now in a good position where we can push for a result."

Powell was disappointed to get out in the closing stages of the day's play. "I was looking to bat through the innings, so I actually wasn't too happy that I got out just before the close. I felt I could go on for much longer, I wanted to come back tomorrow and push the team ahead."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • charlie on June 19, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    All the talk about Holder is good ,but what about Mc Clean ? I like this guy and I expect greater things from him going forward . Nice to have al these young pacers to look forward to . .....Next thing is that Devon Thomas scored a fifty !!!! I never thought that I would see the day ; hope it's not the end of the world !!! .

  • Balaji on June 19, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    If this is the next generation, it is very disappointing. Rohit Sharma is going further behind. Pujara needs to take a serious look at what's going wrong. If these players can't beat a West Indies A, we need to wonder. The selectors should have picked Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav so that they get a lot of bowling under their belt. The younger players should think about what they want, an IPL contract or an India cap. A lot of people may say otherwise, but IPL has harmed Indian cricket. Look at Rahane. He had his best season of IPL, but a dismal series here.

  • John on June 19, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    So this is supposed to be India's next generation of star batsmen? These guys were the ones being pushed by the fans to replace the aging legends? They can't even put up a decent score against a young WI attack that are not near ready for international cricket with the exception of Bishoo.

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    We need Saha in the national team.... He is the man against the short pitched deliveries and has a lot of patience......

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    The first match india won because of Pujara,shammy & B kumar. I don't know why B Kumar is not included in the playing eleven despite having a good match.Now Jalaj saxena came with a good performance with bat and ball so he is the only bright spot in this match so far. I am wondering after good domestic performance why Jalaj & Rishi dhawan not getting IPL contracts

  • anthony on June 18, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    @ SIRSOBERS, could'nt agree more.

  • o on June 18, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Powell has a huge amount of talent and potential his recent outing in England should not be held against him. Having to learn your trade in the international stage in early English conditions (earlier than India last yr) who's openers failed more so on less swinging/seeming pitches is nothing to be ashamed of he is one for the future he just needs to play more W.I A domestic cricket before he is put into the international side (common sense) but something only West Indies of late don't seem to do by throwing these youngsters into the dragons den with minimal experience.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Happy for the Juniors. Funds permitting, I would like to see more 'A' team series especially abroad. This way, future WI players will get valuable exposure in all sorts of conditions. Plus the very important aspect of team bonding shouldn't be overlooked.

    Different opposition, different locale, different conditions but I'm glad to see that the talented Powell has batted for a long period in this innings. Good move by selectors to choose him for this match rather than have him sit around and do nothing. I don't understand though why he would play that shot with a few minutes left in the day's play, if he wanted to return the next day to carry on as he said. Guess you could chalk it up to a rush of blood to the gray matter at the wrong time.

    Our cupboard is not bare by any stretch of the imagination. We have some good young players who need continued grooming for the future. I particularly like the new ball pair of Holder & Johnson (sounds like a Law firm), Powell of course, Carter and

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Encouraging stuff. Now u can take the series. I'm keeping a close eye on Delorn Johnson & Jason Holder, as future WI players. Thomas is making some progress with his batting. So far so good.

  • Carl on June 18, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Good effort by the Windies boys to build those partnerships, and get themselves into a strong position heading into the final two days of what has been a very competitive and hard fought series. If the last two wickets can add a few more, and maybe frustrate the Indians for another hour or so, that would be perfect preparation before going into the field for one last time and put India 'A' under some serious pressure. Delorn Johnson has bowled quite superbly so far, and hopefully he and McLean can make the early breakthroughs before Bishoo and Permaul get to work. Good luck guys, you can win this series.

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