Ravindra Jadeja shines with all-round show, India 364 all out on Day 2

Ravindra Jadeja continued his impressive form in India’s second and final tour match against West Indies Board President’s XI as he followed up his three-wicket spell with a fine half-century on the second day in Basseterre on Saturday. Along with half-centuries from Lokesh Rahul (64 from 127 balls; 9×4, 1×6) and skipper Virat Kohli (51 from 94 balls; 4×4), the visitors ended their first innings on 364 all out from 105.4 overs. Jadeja, who had returned with impressive figures of 3/16 while bowling on the opening day, hit a superb 61-ball 56 down the order with the help of eight boundaries. At stumps, the hosts were placed at 26 for 1 from eight overs with off-spinner R Ashwin having got the scalp of opening batsman and captain Leon Johnson (17). WICB President’s XI now trail by 158 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand. They were earlier shot out for 180 in their first innings on the opening day. After lunch, Rahul did not come out to bat and it was Ajinkya Rahane (32 from 77 balls; 5×4) who accompanied Kohli to the crease. The Indian skipper reached his fifty in no time, but just as he was looking to get some more time under his belt, he was trapped LBW by Rahkeem Cornwall (5/118). Rahane then added 44 runs with Stuart Binny (16), before the latter was caught behind off the same bowler. In fact, the burly Cornwall, who top-scored for the home team on the opening day with 41 runs, troubled the entire Indian middle order with his off-break bowling. He had bowled Cheteshwar Pujara (28) in the final over of day one, and after scalping both Kohli and Binny, he then dismssed Rahane as well.
Rahane was looking well set until then, playing some choice strokes, but a sharp turner ballooned to leg slip as he prodded forward. Wriddhiman Saha (31 from 47 balls; 5×4) batted fluently for a bit as well, before Jadeja failed to respond to his call for a second run, and he was run-out. As such, India lost four wickets in the second session. Earlier, Rahul had struck his second half-century on tour as India were placed at 181/3 from 53 overs at lunch, putting on 88 runs with Kohli in the interim. Rahul batted slowly, looking to run hard, as the slow outfield did not carry the ball to the ropes on a number of occasions.
At the other end, Kohli opened and brought out a flurry of on-drives against the pacers. Rahul was dropped by Keon Joseph (0/40) when on 49, a simple return catch spilled as the bowler did not get down on time. The Indian youngster then reached his half-century with a dab to third man, making a strong case for inclusion for the first Test in Antigua. At the other end, Kohli too was almost caught when he tried to flick the ball past the short-midwicket fielder. Brief Scores: WICB President’s XI: 180 all out and 26 for 1 in 8 overs. India: 364 all out in 105.4 overs (Lokesh Rahul 64, Virat Kohli 51, Ravindra Jadeja 56; Rahkeem Cornwall 5/118).

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