Opener Shubman Gill struck a sublime fifty while Ravichandran Ashwin snapped two wickets after making his first appearance in the game following his recovery from a COVID-19 infection as India’s warm-up match 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 visitors looked to put final touch to their preparation for the rescheduled fifth Test against England starting in Birmingham on July 1.
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 their skipper Rohit Sharma testing positive for COVID-19, which put his participation in the one-off Test in serious doubt.
If he misses out, Gill will have to take the onus of giving India a good start and the Punjab batter, who was earlier dismissed for 21 and 38, finally managed to convert the starts with a 77-ball 62 studded with eight hits to the fence and two maximums.
He emerged as the top-scorer after he turned up for Leicestershire, who were set a target of 367 to win following India’s second innings declaration at 364 for 7.
Hanuma Vihari, who also batted for both the 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 on day 4 but Gill stitched a 67 run partnership with skipper Samuel Evans (26) to steady the innings.
However, spinner Ashwin dismissed both the set batters.
The 35-year-old from Chennai had first Gill caught by Mohammed Shami in the 28th over and then removed Evans with wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat coming up with a clean take behind the stumps to effect the stumping.
Vihari and Louis Kimber (58 not out) 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 in 8 overs) had him caught behind in the 56th over.
Kimber and Joey Evison (15 not out) batted for another 10 overs, adding 37 before both the teams decided to shake hands.
Prasidh Krishna and Bumrah bowled for both Indians and Leicestershire but both remained wicketless on the final day.
While Krishna bowled five overs for 19 runs, Bumrah rolled his arms for 8 overs, conceding 12.
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