Having conceded the five-match one-day series after losing the first three matches, West Indies A earned a hard-fought win against India A in the fourth game at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Saturday.
Batting at No 8, Axar Patel’s counter-attacking knock threatened to take the visitors over the line but the Windies held their nerves to sneak a five-run victory after posting 298/9 in 50 overs.
Patel’s unbeaten innings of 81 off 63 helped his team finish with 293/9 from 50 overs and also served a timely reminder to the national selectors as they sit on Sunday to pick the senior squads for the West Indies tour.
Asked to bat first, the Windies got to a formidable total despite losing opener Kjorn Ottley in the first over. Their other opener and skipper Sunil Ambris [46 off 36] got together with wicketkeeper Devon Thomas [70 off 95] to add 75 runs for the second wicket.
Thomas then put on an 81-run partnership for the third wicket with Roston Chase, whose 84 off 100 earned him the player of the match award. Batting at No 5, Jonathan Carter scored 50 off 43 before the rest of the Windies batting order collapsed.
For India, Khaleel Ahmed [4/67 from 10 overs] and Avesh Khan [3/62 from 8 overs] were the most successful bowlers, but the pacers’ spells were quite expensive and helped West Indies gain the advantage. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya [1/33 from 9 overs] delivered a tight spell.
In reply, India A’s top-order struggled to string together partnerships. Pandya got a 56-ball 45 batting at No 4 and Washington Sundar scored 45 off 52 at No 7 before Patel took over. The left-hander smacked eight fours and one six in his knock and could’ve taken his team home had he got more support from the tail.
Keemo Paul and Rovman Powell picked two wickets apiece for the Windies but it was left-arm spinner Khary Pierre’s 1/41 from 10 overs that proved to be most effective.
The fifth and final one-dayer will be played at the same venue on Sunday, before the two teams begin the first-of-three Unofficial Test matches on July 24.