Rishabh Pant rises with flamboyant innings

One among four India players to turn out for the English county side in the practice match, Pant knocked his way to an entertaining 76 off 87 balls at Grace Road on Friday. During his 154-minute stay in the middle, Pant entertained the crowd with 14 fours and a six.
Rishabh Pant stole the show with an entertaining 76
Rishabh Pant stole the show with an entertaining 76

LEICESTER: Rishabh Pant decided to rise in the west after his woes in the sub-continent, batting in his signature attacking manner to hog the limelight on the second day of the warm-up match between India and Leicestershire here.

One among four India players to turn out for the English county side in the practice match, Pant knocked his way to an entertaining 76 off 87 balls at Grace Road on Friday. During his 154-minute stay in the middle, Pant entertained the crowd with 14 fours and a six.

Responding to India’s 246 for eight declared after a day of multiple rain interruptions, Leicestershire was primed to take a sizable lead over the tourist when Pant was in his element. But the possibility died down with the wicketkeeper-batter’s dismissal, thanks to a good catch by Shreyas Iyer off the bowling of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3/28).

This was after the host was reeling at 138 for six at one stage of the innings. Leicestershire’s first innings ended at 244, two less than India’s total. Meanwhile, pacer Mohammad Shami (3/42) was seen jumping on Cheteshwar Pujara’s back to celebrate the wicket, even as the batter walked back to the dressing room smiling.

Pujara, who was out for a six-ball duck, is part of the Leicestershire XI. The 24-year-old Pant, who oversaw the India team’s excellent comeback in the T20I series against South Africa at home but struggled to score runs, played some fine shots here.

There was a lovely cover drive against Shami while he was engaged in some sort of a battle with the India seamer. Then, Pant used the pace of Umesh Yadav and played a scoop for a six to bring up his half-century. Besides Pant, Rishi Patel and Roman Walker contributed 34 each for the home team.

Among the India bowlers, Shami and Jadeja were the most successful, with figures of 3/42 and 3/28 respectively. There were two wickets apiece for Shardul Thakur (2/72), who was taken to the task by Pant and Co, and Mohammed Siraj (2/46).

Opening the batting a day after his unbeaten 70 in the first essay, KS Bharat (31 not out) and Shubman Gill (38) added 62 runs for the first wicket when India batted the second time in the four-day match. Gill was dismissed by Navdeep Saini after his 34-ball knock, during which he hit eight fours. Hanuma Vihari (9 batting) was giving Bharat company when the stumps were drawn with India ahead by 82 runs.

BRIEF SCORES: India 246/8 decl. & 80/1 in 18 overs vs Leicestershire 244 in 57 overs (R Pant 76, R Jadeja 3/28, M Shami 3/42)

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