KS Bharat warms up for England Test series with ton; India A play out draw with Lions | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Making a compelling case for his inclusion in the upcoming Test series against England, KS Bharat smashed an aggressive century as India A pursued an ambitious target of 490 in the opening first-class game against England Lions, which ultimately ended in a draw in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
As the umpires concluded proceedings on the fourth and final day, India found themselves at 426 for 5 in 125 overs, falling just 64 runs shy of the challenging target.
Bharat, known for his inconsistent batting in Tests, silenced critics with an unbeaten 116 off 165 balls, featuring 15 boundaries.
With India looking to give relief to KL Rahul from keeping wickets, Bharat’s century would come as a big relief for his greatest backer, head coach Rahul Dravid, who has been bullish about playing the Andhra player in Tests despite his below-par batting record.
Manav Suthar, who came in as night-watchman on third evening, remained unbeaten on a dogged 89 off 254 balls with 16 boundaries — 10 of which came off left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson (3/182).
While B Sai Sudharsan (97 off 208 balls) missed out on a hundred, Bharath-Suthar duo took full advantage of flat deck adding 207 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket stand in 54.5 overs. The only wicket to fall on the day was southpaw Sudharsan.
On the final day, England Lions skipper Josh Bohanon mainly bowled with his spinners — Parkinson and off-break bowler Jack Carson (0/74 in 21 overs).
Bharat was solid on both flanks as nine off his 15 fours came off the two spinners and were mostly hit on the on-side. He got an able ally in Suthar, who applied himself well and by tea time, even England Lions knew that they have lost an opportunity to win a first-class game on an Indian track.
Brief Scores:
England Lions 553 and 163/6 decl.
India 227 and 425/6 in 125 overs (Kona Bharat 116 not out, Manav Suthar 89 not out).
Match Drawn.
(With inputs from PTI)

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