Captain Sam Billings lost the toss and was put into bat by India A skipper KL Rahul, who opened the batting and put on 178 runs with Abhimanyu Easwaran, batting through two full sessions.
Shortly after tea, however, Rahul (81) got an edge on a rising ball from Zak Chappell, which fired through to Ollie Pope behind the stumps to leave the experienced Test batsman just shy of a century for the second successive innings.
Priyank Panchal, fresh off his double hundred in the first ‘Test’, then put on 74 with Easwaran, with the opener reaching three figures off 203 balls. The partnership ended when Easwaran was given out caught behind attempting a reverse sweep off Dom Bess, departing for 117.
Then, with what turned out to be the last ball of the day, Tom Bailey removed Panchal’s off stump with the Indian batsman having scored exactly 50.
Bailey and Chappell were the pick of the bowlers, picking up a wicket apiece and going for less than three runs per over, while Steven Mullaney bowled 12 overs for the cost of just 20 runs.
“I think the positive thing is that we’ve not let India get away – they’re [scoring] at just over three an over. We’d have liked a few more wickets but sometimes you’ve got to give credit to the batsmen.
“I thought the two opening batsmen showed how to bat on the wicket, playing really late on a wicket that does have a little bit in it.
“We know they’re a very good side and that we’ll have to play well to compete, but we’ve got three wickets so if we can chip away in the morning you never know what can happen.
“It’s a lot different to the conditions we’re used to in England, so we’ve had to come up with some plans. It has been a great learning experience for everybody; having to adapt to different conditions and learning new things can only be positive for us lads going forward playing international cricket or on flat wickets in England. We’re doing that now and it’s a great learning curve.”
© Cricket World 2019