highly back in the Caribbean. The India A bowling might not have tested him to a great extent but the elegant left-hander set about his work in forthright fashion, taking on the spinners and picking up regular boundaries. He didn’t take too long to overtake Brathwaite and looked well on his way to a century. But he fell seven short, lbw to Bhatt, giving the Baroda left-arm spinner his ninth wicket of the match. Deonarine had earlier shown his utility as an off-spinner with a miserly spell that included a wicket. But whether it will get him a place in the Test eleven remains to be seen.
Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell will be front-runners in that regard come the first Test in November. But both failed to make the most of good batting conditions for the second time running. While Edwards fell to a contentious lbw decision against Bhatt, Powell was dismissed by Zaheer Khan during an inspired spell on the fourth morning.
Having looked slightly lacklustre in the West Indians’ first innings and on Friday, Zaheer had a spring in his stride from his very first over on Saturday. More importantly, he had a set plan. He bombarded Powell with a flurry of well-directed bouncers in his second over of the day. One hit the left-hander’s body, the next sped past his defences and the third was fended off gingerly. Powell smacked the fifth delivery of the over through the covers off the back-foot. Zaheer then dished out another couple of short-pitched deliveries. By now he had Powell where he wanted him. When he slipped in a quick length delivery outside his off-stump, the leaden-footed opener could only hang his bat out and edge to the wicketkeeper.
Zaheer remained a threat to Brathwaite and Deonarine in his five-over burst but failed to make further inroads. And once he was done with his stint, the rest of the India A bowlers hardly made an impact as the West Indians made merry on the docile wicket before the weather intervened.
Brief scores: West Indies A 406 & 223/3 in 81 overs (K Brathwaite 104*,