Zaheer four-for helps secure innings win

CricketFilePhotoB(Sports Page) Narsingh Deonarine resisted India A with a plucky 99 but the bowlers burst through to deliver a series-leveling innings win. Abhishek Nayar, that champion in domestic cricket, provided the only two wickets in the first session, ending an 82-run stand between Deonarine and Assad Fudadin. Deonarine’s vigil continued, in the company of Nikita Miller, until Zaheer Khan produced what seemed a magic delivery. With Jahmar Hamilton injured and unavailable to bat, the loss of the last four wickets for eight runs signaled the end of the match minutes after the afternoon drinks break.

West Indies A began the day with seven wickets in hand and needing 180 to make India A bat again. Deonarine and Fudadin seemed largely comfortable and even a longer-than-usual six-over first spell from Zaheer didn’t bring India any success. Then, Cheteshwar Pujara did what Mumbai captains often do at such times: get Nayar to bowl. And Nayar did what he does: bowl wide outside off, play on the batsman’s patience, and somehow the batsman follows one. Fudadin committed the mistake this time, edging to the keeper on 49.

Jonathan Carter, who had injured himself when filling in for the keeper Hamilton, came in to bat at No. 6, but fell to a special Nayar delivery. It was short of a length, from round the stumps, pitched middle and off, beat the outside edge as it held its line, and sent the off stump cart wheeling.

India A 564 for 9 dec (Pujara 306*, Gambhir 123) beat West Indies A 268 and 242 (Deonarine 99, Zaheer 4-59) by an innings and 54 runs

West Indies A won the one-day series 2-1, lost the one-off T20, took the lead in the first-class series through their spinners, but couldn’t hold on to it.

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