Kraigg Brathwaite (92) and skipper Kirk Edwards (91) narrowly missed out on centuries before India 'A' bowlers staged a fightback to keep West Indies 'A' to 264 for five on the opening day of the first unofficial 'Test' here on Wednesday. (In image: Kraigg Brathwaite)
For a major part of the day, West Indies 'A' batsmen dominated the proceedings before late strikes towards the fag end enabled the hosts pull even at the Gangothri Glades Cricket Ground here.
From 211 for two at one stage, the Windies lost three wickets for just 26 runs to be struggling at 237 for five.
At stumps, Assad Fudadin was unbeaten on 4, while giving him company at the other end was Chadwick Walton on 26. The sixth wicket pair had added 27 runs and ensured West Indies did not lose any more wickets.
Once the ominous-looking second wicket partnership was broken, the Indian bowlers kept the West Indies batsmen under tight leash and made them struggle for every run.
Put in to bat by India A skipper Cheteshwar Pujara, West Indies 'A' were rocked by an early blow dealt by medium pacer Mohammad Shami Ahmed when he trapped opener Kieran Powell leg before for a duck, but Brathwaite and Edwards put on a valuable 172-run stand for the second wicket to give the team a solid platform.
The duo opened up once they settled down and started smashing a flurry of boundaries with Indian bowlers dishing out some pedestrian stuff.
While Brathwaite scored a patient 215-ball 92, including 12 fours, Edwards hit 91 off 162 balls with the help of 11 boundaries and a six.
Both, however, missed out on their fifth and eighth first class centuries.
It was Ishwar Pandey who gave India 'A' the breakthrough by seeing off Edwards before Parvez Rasool chipped in with two important wickets.
The fall of Braithwaite and Edwards opened the gates for Indian bowlers to wreck the visitors' batting order.
Rasool struck again by removing Narsingh Deonaraine caught and bowled for 28 off 44 balls.
Thereafter right-arm off-break bowler Rajat Paliwal trapped Leon Johnson for 10 even as Fudadin held on to his wicket.
Fudadin and wicketkeeper Walton played with lot of responsibility and made sure that West Indies A reach a respectable score at the end of the day.
Rasool finished with figures of two for 60 in 27 overs, while Rajat Paliwal (1/28), Pandey (1/53) and Mohammed Shami (1/54) took wicket apiece. However, Indian pacer Ashok Dinda went wicketless in 16 overs.