Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow hit a resolute century and put on 156-run partnership with Eoin Morgan to rescue England from a precarious position on the first day of their three-day warm-up game against Mumbai ‘A’ here on Saturday.
Bairstow (118) and Morgan (76) pulled England out of the woods by stitching 156 runs for the fifth wicket in just under three hours after Mumbai ‘A’ bowlers had threatened to bowl the visitors out cheaply in the morning session.
The right-handed Bairstow, who hit 14 fours in his stay of 261 minutes, and left-handed Morgan, who struck eight fours and a six in 191 minutes, joined hands when England were tottering at 66 for four at lunch and were separated only in the final session.
England consolidated their innings further when Bairstow and Samit Patel (59 batting) put on another 107 runs for the sixth wicket to finish the opening day strongly at 338 for six wickets.
Patel, who scored a century in the tourists’ first warm-up game against India ‘A’, and stand-in skipper Stuart Broad (6) were at the crease. In the morning, the visitors were rocked by a two-wicket burst from Kshemal Waingankar and a wicket each from first change seamer Javed Khan and captain Suryakumar Yadav, a part-time spinner, after opting to bat first.
Morgan and Bairstow then rallied the visiting team by batting with confidence and fluency till the former was dismissed by Shardul Thakur.
In the first hour of play, Waingankar picked up the wickets of opener Nick Compton (1) and Ian Bell (4) but was punished later on with the old ball to finish the day with figures of two for 68.
Meaker called up
Meanwhile, pacer Stuart Meaker was on Saturday drafted into the England squad as cover for injured Steve Finn. Meaker is expected to play in the four-day final warm-up game against Haryana in Ahmedabad from November 8 to 11.