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Easwaran falters again, Sarfaraz shines as England Lions close in on victory

Easwaran falters again, Sarfaraz shines as England Lions close in on victory

With England Lions just six scalps away from victory, the final day promises a tense finale.

Abhimanyu Easwaran frustrating struggle in crucial matches continued as England Lions are inches closer to a convincing win in the first unofficial Test, needing just six wickets to seal the deal on day three. Chasing a mammoth 490, India A limped to 159/4 at stumps, their hopes largely resting on B Sai Sudharsan’s unbeaten 53 and the yet-to-come Kona Bharat.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, once again under the spotlight for a potential national team call-up, failed to capitalize on the opportunity, falling cheaply for 2 after edging Matthew Potts to Ollie Robinson in the second innings. This followed his first-innings dismissal for 4 against Matthew Fisher, further fueling criticism of his inability to perform on big occasions.

“He has the technique and the runs (over 6500 in First-Class cricket),” lamented a former national selector to PTI, “but he consistently falters in crucial matches. Ranji Trophy knockouts, trial games like this… he just can’t seem to step up.”

Abhimanyu Easwaran struggles, Sarfaraz Khan shines

While Abhimanyu Easwaran struggles cast a shadow, Sarfaraz Khan showed encouraging signs with a fluent 55 before perishing to a rash shot. The onus now lies on Sudharsan and Bharat to salvage some pride for India A on the final day, but the task remains daunting against a dominant England Lions side.

Earlier, the visitors piled on the runs after their first innings 553/8, declaring their second innings on 163/6 with Keaton Jennings (64) and James Rew (56) adding another quickfire partnership. This followed Rajat Patidar’s lone warrior effort of 151 in India A’s first innings.

With England Lions just six scalps away from victory, the final day promises a tense finale. Can India A mount an improbable comeback, or will England Lions complete a comprehensive win? The stage is set for a dramatic conclusion to this unofficial Test battle.

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