Bowlers, Powell set up series win for hosts
West Indies A 336 (Powell 139, Saxena 3-55) and 97 for 0 (Powell 56*) beat India A 230 (Saxena 61, Bishoo 3-40) & 202 (Tiwary 62, McClean 5-57) by ten wickets
West Indies A thrashed India A by ten wickets in the third unofficial Test in St Lucia to take the series 2-1. Fast bowler Kevin McClean wrapped up the Indian tail to finish with 5 for 57, his third first-class five-wicket haul.
India A began the fourth and final day on 181 for 7, a lead of 75. With the injured Robin Bist not batting, their only hope was Wriddhiman Saha, unbeaten on 48. But McClean did not take too long to end the innings, trapping Saha lbw for 52 and having Parvinder Awana caught for a duck. India A managed 202 and set West Indies A a target of just 97.
Kieran Powell, the first-innings centurion, cracked an unbeaten 56 from 50 deliveries while Kraigg Brathwaite remained unbeaten on 36 as the hosts cantered to victory in the 18th over. Powell was named the Man of the Match while left-arm fast bowler Delorn Johnson, who took 17 wickets in the three games, was named the Man of the Series.
Hendy Springer, the West Indies A coach, praised his team for fighting back after losing the first game of the series. "If you look at where we came from, before the first match a lot people put their money on India A to beat us, but we played with quality and common sense to win two matches by significant margins," he said. "We lost by two wickets in the first match but we saw the signs of progress and we progressed nicely.
"The bowlers were brilliant throughout the entire series and worked overtime for us. India has a very strong batting line-up and they failed to reach 300 runs in six innings, a sign that we were well prepared and very disciplined as a bowling group."
Springer was pleased that his team had taken advantage of winning positions and shown the ability to complete the job. He said the results were part of the ongoing process to develop the A team players for international cricket.
"[Delorn] Johnson got us an early breakthrough in every innings and that put pressure on the other batsmen. He was always 'at them' with the new ball and the old ball and asked questions of them every time. [Jonathan] Carter was a revelation. He is a middle-order batsman and part-time wicketkeeper who was asked to do a job with the ball and he did it manfully. His 10 wickets were a huge bonus."
West Indies A and India A will now travel to Trinidad for two Twenty20 matches on the weekend.