Ashwin snaps two wickets, Gill hits 62

As many as five Indians turned up for both the teams during the four-day practice match as the visitor looked to put final touch to its preparation for the rescheduled fifth Test against England starting on July 1 in Birmingham.
Jasprit Bumrah leads the India team onto the field
Jasprit Bumrah leads the India team onto the field

LEICESTER: Opener Shubman Gill struck a sublime fifty while Ravichandran Ashwin snapped two wickets after making his first appearance in the match following his recovery from Covid-19 as India’s warm-up fixture against Leicestershire ended in a draw here on Sunday.

As many as five Indians turned up for both the teams during the four-day practice match as the visitor looked to put final touch to its preparation for the rescheduled fifth Test against England starting on July 1 in Birmingham.

It was a much-needed outing for Ashwin, who had travelled to England late after testing positive for the virus. He looked in good touch as he bowled 11 overs and took two wickets, conceding 31 runs. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah led India on the fourth and final day after the country woke up to the news of its skipper Rohit Sharma testing positive for COVID-19.

Gill, who was earlier dismissed for 21 and 38, finally managed to convert the starts with a 77-ball 62, which studded with eight hits to the fence and two maximums. He emerged as the top-scorer after he turned up for Leicestershire, which was set a target of 367 to win following India’s second innings declaration at 364 for seven.

Hanuma Vihari, who also batted for both teams, spent some quality time in the middle with his 86-ball vigil producing a 26-run innings. He had scores of 3 and 20 in the earlier innings.

Chasing 367, Leicestershire lost Hasan Azad (12) early but Gill stitched a 67-run partnership with skipper Samuel Evans (26) to steady the innings. However, Ashwin dismissed both the set batters.

The 35-year-old had Gill caught by Mohammed Shami in the 28th over and then removed Evans with wicketkeeper KS Bharat coming up with a clean take to effect a stumping.

Vihari and Louis Kimber (58 not out off 86 balls, 10 fours) then came together and forged a 72-run stand to take Leicestershire close to the 200-mark. Vihari’s stay ended when Ravindra Jadeja (1/35) had him caught behind in the 56th over.

Kimber and Joey Evison (15 not out) batted for another 10 overs, adding 37 before the teams decided to shake hands. Prasidh Krishna and Bumrah bowled for both Indians and Leicestershire but remained wicketless on the final day. While Krishna bowled five overs for 19 runs, Bumrah rolled his arms for 8 overs, conceding 12.

BRIEF SCORES: India 246/8 decl. & 364/9 decl. drew with Leicestershire 244 & 219/4 in 66 overs (S Gill 62, L Kimber 58*)

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