Bridgetown (Barbados) : Captain Veerasammy Permaul and wicket-keeper Devon Thomas both struck cavalier half-centuries as they combined to pull West Indies A out of dire straits with a superb eighth-wicket stand on the opening day of the first four-day match against India A.
The pair came together with the home side reeling on 126 for seven after the Indian bowlers blew away the top order and threatened to run through the middle and lower order batting on a good batting surface at the Kensington Oval here Saturday.
Permaul demonstrated his maturity with an outstanding captain`s knock of 66 while Thomas played some classy strokes in 57, as they added 92 precious run in two hours of entertainment to propel the hosts to 252 all out at the close.
Pacer Shami Ahmed (3-43) and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma (3-73) finished with three wickets apiece while new-ball bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two for 42.
Permaul, known more for his left-arm spin, smashed six fours and two sixes off 94 balls in 142 minutes at the crease while Thomas punched eight fours in an innings spanning 104 balls and 131 minutes.
They joined forces before tea when Jason Holder was well taken behind by keeper Wriddhiman Saha off pacer Shami Ahmed, who worked up some good pace. After, Permaul came in they decided to use attack as their best means of defence.
Thomas got off the mark with straight drive for four off pacer Shami Ahmed and two balls later drove the same bowler through straight mid-off for another boundary.
This set the tone and Permaul then went after leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, with a pull for four and then a slap over square leg for six as the West Indies launched a major fight-back.
Thomas, who played in the ICC Cricket World Cup last year and is looking to make a comeback to the West Indies team, reached his half century with a cut for four off Rahul Sharma.
He faced 91 balls and hit seven fours to reach the milestone but was eventually bowled by the same bowler as he played over a full length delivery.
Permaul, a pugnacious right-hander, reached his first half century in first-class cricket with a neat single to midwicket and required just 65 balls to reach the landmark while striking five boundaries a six.
He was last man out, bowled through the gate by a quicker ball from Rahul Sharma as he tried to go over the top. His dismissal brought an end to the day`s play.