India A 288 for 7 (Rahane 59, Kishan 57*, Chappell 3-84) beat England Lions 285 for 7 (Billings 108*, Davies 54, Markande 2-45) by three wickets
Contrasting half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Ishan Kishan helped India A take a 1-0 lead in the unofficial ODI series against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram. For the visitors, Sam Billings‘ unbeaten century went in vain.
Set a target of 286, India A made a steady start courtesy Rahane’s 87-ball 59 (4×4). The India A captain put on 66 for the first wicket with Anmolpreet Singh (33), 73 for the second with Shreyas Iyer (45) and 26 for the third with Hanuma Vihari (16). The left-arm spinner Danny Briggs then dismissed both Rahane and Vihari in the same over, leaving India A needing 120 off 97 balls with six wickets in hand and two new batsmen at the crease.
Those two, Kishan and Krunal Pandya, provided the necessary acceleration in a fifth-wicket stand of 60 in 53 balls before Krunal fell in the 43rd over for 29. With Axar Patel (18) and Shardul Thakur (11*) offering handy support, Kishan steered India A home with five balls to spare, finishing unbeaten on 57 off 48 balls, having hit five fours and a six.
Sent in to bat, the Lions made a bright start courtesy Alex Davies (54 off 64) and his partnerships of 37 with Ben Duckett (23) and 61 with Sam Hain (21) for the first two wickets. Then Billings took over even as India A’s bowlers chipped away at the other end. He fuelled a late surge in the Lions’ scoring rate, as they tonked 66 off the last 37 balls of the innings, and finished unbeaten on 108 off 104 balls, with five fours and four sixes.