Half-centuries by Montcin Hodge and Shamarh Brooks helped lay base for West Indies A’s 243 for 5 on the opening day of the second unofficial Test against India A, at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.Having elected to bat, openers Hodge and Kraigg Brathwaite provided a solid platform with an 87-run stand, batting out all of the morning session. Brathwaite’s 121-ball stay yielded only 36 runs but included a rare six. Even as the skipper was knocked over by Sandeep Warrier soon after the Lunch break, the Indian bowlers were made to toil for another wicket, as Hodge and Brooks struck another half-century stand en route their respective fifties.However, soon after the Tea break – when they were placed at 135 for 1 – West Indies slipped dramatically. Mohammad Siraj bowled Hodge for 65, and in a period of just over an hour, West Indies were reduced from 149 for 1 to 196 for 5, with Shivam Dube, K Gowtham and Mayank Markande snapping a wicket each.However, ‘keeper Shane Dowrich and Raymon Reifer shored the slide and took the hosts to stumps without any further damage. The duo played out the last 11 overs of the day and stitched an unbeaten 47-run alliance for the sixth wicket.
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