Brooks, pacers put Windies A in command

BECKENHAM, England,  CMC – Captain Shamarh Brooks struck an unbeaten half-century to ram home the advantage his fast bowlers had established, as West Indies A dominated India A on the opening day of the first four-day “Test” here yesterday.

Opting to bat first at Kent County Ground, India A were bundled out cheaply for 133, with Hanuma Vihari top-scoring with 37, Vijay Shankar getting 34 and captain Karun Nair, 20.

Shamarh Brooks

However, the Asian side failed to cope with the Windies A pace attack as Sherman Lewis (4-35) and Chemar Holder (4-57) picked up four wickets apiece and left-armer Raymon Reifer (2-20) added a brace.

In reply, Windies A were struggling on 28 for two in the seventh over before Brooks arrived to play a skipper’s knock of 51 not out, anchoring two key stands to see his side to the close on 148 for three.

Left-handed opener John Campbell was lbw to speedster Ankit Rajpoot in the first over of the innings for two and Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood followed for 18 in the seventh, caught at the wicket off the same bowler.

But Brooks steadied the innings, adding 54 for the third wicket with the left-handed Hemraj, who made 42 off 63 balls in nearly two hours at the crease, striking six fours.

When Hemraj departed, Brooks found an ally in Sunil Ambris whose unbeaten 24 has consumed 49 balls, just an over an hour and included three fours.

The right-handed Brooks has struck 10 fours in an innings spanning 103 balls and a shade over 2-1/2 hours.

Earlier, the impressive Holder rocked India A after they won the toss and opted to bat, producing a two-wicket burst in his opening over to send them slumping to three for three in the second over of the innings.

The 24-year-old Vihari tried to prop up the innings, putting on 42 for the fourth wicket with Nair and another 60 for the fifth with Shankar, as India recovered to 105 for four.

But once Test seamer Reifer claimed Shankar lbw, the innings collapsed for the final time, as India A lost their last six wickets for 28 runs.

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