New Delhi: Murali Vijay smashed a fine 76 as his century-plus opening stand with statemate Abhinav Mukund helped India `A` reach a competitive 224 for four against England in their first warm-up game, being played at the Airforce ground in Palam on Sunday.
The Tamil Nadu duo added 118 runs for the opening stand with skipper Mukund hitting 57 in a match that was curtailed to 39-overs-a -side due to bad light.
After the duo, it was Maharashtra`s No. 3 Kedar Jadhav, who chipped in with an useful 52 off 50 balls.
Eoin Morgan, who was leading the side after skipper Alastair Cook decided to go back to the hotel due to extremely cold conditions, rightly opted to field.
Even as the players went back to dressing room after five overs were sent down, the break was a welcome one for India `A` openers. While Mukund dropped anchor at one end during his 81-ball knock in which he hit five boundaries, Vijay was the aggressive of the two with his 76 coming off only 75 balls. His knock contained eight fours and two sixes.
He hit some crisp drives off Tim Bresnan`s bowling but a flat batted six off Chris Woakes stood out. It was a kind of tennis shot that fell in front of the sightscreen.
The second six came about when Vijay lofted offie James Tredwell to the adjacent practice nets. Mukund tried to give similar charge to Tredwell but was beaten by the flight and was stumped.
Vijay was bowled by Samit Patel when he tried to hoick the left-arm spinner, but Jadhav batted with lot of gumption. Along with Ashok Menaria (17, 2x6), he added 44 runs.
Initially, he was finding it difficult to get the ball through the gaps. He even lost control of his bat when Steven Finn dug one short and the Maharashtra lad was taken aback by the pace. But to his credit, he hung on there and hit a few boundaries to complete 50 in the penultimate over.
Jade Dernbach was the most successful bowler with figures of two for 23 in seven overs.
Jammu and Kashmir`s Parvez Rasool is making his debut in the match.
First Published: Sunday, January 06, 2013, 14:24