India A continued their dominance over the England Lions and ended the series on an emphatic note. After winning the ODI series 4-1, the hosts won the four-day match in Mysuru by an innings and 68 runs to clinch the two-match series 1-0 on Friday. Mayank Markande was the star with 5/31 and his great effort backed up the earlier knocks of KL Rahul (81) and Abhimanyu Easwaran’s century. The opening partnership between Easwaran and Rahul set-up the game perfectly for India A and it allowed them to dominate against an England Lions side who were totally lacking confidence. Rahul, who is in contention for a spot in the India side for the upcoming series against Australia, roared back to form with a brilliant 81.
However, it was Easwaran’s brilliant century that proved to be the difference-maker. Following the 179-run stand for the opening wicket, Easwaran shared a 73-run stand for the second wicket with Priyank Panchal who also scored a fifty. Zak Chappell (4/60) and Danny Briggs (3/71), however, ran through the middle order and managed to restrict India A to 392 all out.
In response, England Lions struggled to cope with the combined pace and spin of Navdeep Saini and Shahbaz Nadeem. Saini, who plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy, got the big wickets of Ollie Pope and Sam Billings while Shahbaz ran through the lower order with some accurate bowling. Shahbaz and Saini were well backed up by Varun Aaron, who picked up 2/47 and a tight spell from Jalaj Saxena who picked up 2/10 in 10 overs.
India A enforced the follow-on and Ben Duckett got going with a fifty but once again they faced trial by fire with Markande putting in a fine spell. The youngster, who impressed in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians, put in a fine performance and the match ended on the third day as India A completed a fine victory.
The five-match one-day series was won convincingly by the India A side thanks to fine contributions from Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan.