Hain and Pope hit 50s as England Lions bat out final day to draw against India A
Ollie Pope and Sam Hain passed 50 as England Lions batted out a draw in the first unofficial Test against India A in Wayanad.
Starting the day 180 runs behind from the first innings, openers Max Holden (29) and Ben Duckett (30) shared a partnership of 63 before the latter edged Avesh Khan to slip.
Holden fell shortly after, caught at silly point, bringing Pope and Hain together at the crease. The Surrey and Warwickshire men put on a patient 105, with Hain reaching his second 50 of the game off 134 balls; eight balls fewer than in the first innings.
Pope fell on the stroke of tea for an excellent 63, edging a ball that turned sharply from Shahbaz Nadeem to the wicketkeeper. Sam Billings was out soon after tea, with Hain following shortly afterwards, lbw to spinner Jalej Saxena for 57.
Steven Mullaney (3*) and Will Jacks (13*) went on the defensive for nine overs until captains Billings and Ankit Bawane shook hands for the draw with England on 214/5.
England Lions play their second unofficial Test against India A in Mysore, starting on Wednesday.
“We’ve had a lot of people put in some good performances here. [Ben] Duckett early on with his 80, [Sam] Hain with a couple of 50s, and also [Steven] Mullaney and [Will] Jacks. The way Max Holden played at the top got us of to a nice start a couple of times.
“There are a good few learning points – [Panchal] got a double hundred and that was probably the difference between what we should have done; if we get ourselves to those 60s, 70s, 80s we need to push on and get big hundreds – they converted well.
“I’ve learned a lot here. In the one-day series we learned that a par score out here isn’t as big as it is back home. We look to get 300, but out here 250 is a winning score. As batters we’ve learned a lot from that. In the four-day match, it’s all about converting our scores into hundreds, prolonging what we do and doing the basic skills for as long as we can.”
“It was a good game of cricket and there were some really good performances. The outstanding performances were the double hundred and hundred; the double hundred from Panchal was a classy knock and then the more attacking innings from Bharat was outstanding. It was a good testing for our guys.
“There were some nice performances from our team as well – not as large, as long or as strong as some of the Indian performances, but still good. There were two good knocks from Hain, who batted really calmly and showed good method. It was good that Pope got in and what we’d really like to see is our guys getting in and scoring hundreds.
“For our guys to make the transition to Test cricket, they need to be able to score big in these games so Mysore will be another good challenge for us.”