Panchal, Bharat build big lead for India 'A'

Panchal, Bharat build big lead for India 'A'

Priyank Panchal. File photo

A brilliant double century by Priyank Panchal (206) and a quickfire ton by wicketkeeper KS Bharat (142 in 139 balls) helped India 'A' take control against England Lions on the third day of the first unofficial Test here on Saturday.

India 'A' declared their innings at 540 for 6 in reply to England Lions' 340 to gain a massive 200-run lead, thanks to Panchal's marathon knock, which came off 313 balls, and Bharat's blistering innings that was studded with 11 fours and eight sixes.

K L Rahul, who was unbeaten on 88 on Friday, could add only one run to his overnight score before spooning a catch to substitute Jamie Overton to give left-arm spinner Danny Briggs his first wicket.

Panchal, 89 not out overnight, continued his imperious form and played some eye-catching shots. He reached his 20th first class century and continued to torment the visiting bowlers.

Though skipper Ankit Bawne, who nicked one to his counterpart Sam Billings off Zak Chappell and Ricky Bhui (16) didn't last long, Panchal was at his best.

He found an able partner in Bharat, who had been in decent form in the Ranji Trophy, and the two added 196 runs in quick time in a little over 37 overs.

Panchal fell shortly after completing his double century, edging a delivery from medium-pacer Chappell to Billings behind the stumps.

Bharat continued to flay the Lions bowlers and reached his ton off 105 balls.

In reply, England reached 20 without no loss before rain intervened to end the day's proceedings.

Brief scores: England Lions 340 all out in 104.3 overs (Ben Duckett 80, Will Jacks 63, Sam Hain 61; Navdeep Saini 5/79) and 20 for no loss vs India 'A' 540 for 6 declared (Priyank Panchal 206, KS Bharat 142, K L Rahul 89; Zak Chappell 3/105).