Gayle strikes fifty before WI draw with UPCA

Kolkata: The West Indies` practice match against the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association ended in a draw today but Chris Gayle got some runs under his belt ahead of the two-Test series against India with an entertaining half century on the third and final day here.

Gayle, who had a muted outing in the first innings, slammed a 49-ball 58 studded with 11 boundaries, while Marlon Samuels was more aggressive with an identical score (47b; 9x4, 1x6).

The touring West Indies were 199/5 in 37 overs in their second essay when both the captains mutually agreed for a draw, 20 minutes before schedule on the final day.

UPCA captain Piyush Chawla, who returned wicketless in the Windies first innings, claimed an impressive 4/72 in the second innings.

Resuming the day at 206/5, the UPCA had it easy and the Windies put up a sloppy display on the field as Chawla declared their first innings at 372/9.

The highlight of the UPCA innings was Parvinder Singh`s 112 (17x4, 2x6) in a 57-run partnership with Amir
Khan who benefited hugely from the Windies profligacy to put up 47.

Just in the third over of the day, Khan on 4, was bowled by a Tino Best no-ball before he got a second reprieve on 13 with the Windies pacer once again proving lucky for the UPCA batsman, only this time dropping a catch from Veerasammy Permaul`s bowling.

Khan shared a 57-run stand with Parvinder and then had another fruitful partnership of 76 runs with Chawla (46) for the seventh wicket as the Windies cut loose against the UPCA.

Earlier, Parvinder who was unbeaten in the overnight score of 78, completed his ninth first-class century, getting to the mark in 129 balls.

The gritty knock came to an end when he was beaten by a quick-rising delivery from Sheldon Cotterrell to be caught by Samuels at gully, in the only impressive ball of an otherwise ordinary West Indies performance.

If the ordinary attack was not enough, the casual fielding and catching will certainly worry the visitors against the in-form Indian batters ahead of the two-Test series beginning at the Eden Gardens November 6.

The two-match affair is in the spotlight for being the farewell series of veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who will call time on his career after playing his 200th Test.

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