Agency North Sound: Openers Rituraj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill struck fine half-centuries before Navdeep Saini’s fifer guided India A to a 65-run win over West Indies A in the second unofficial ODI of the five-match series here. India A, thus, lead the five-match series 2-0 after the visitors won the opening ODI by an identical 65 runs margin. The home team’s decision to invite India A to bat on Sunday night backfired, as Gaikwad (85 off 102 balls) and Gill (62 off 83) shared 151 runs for the opening wicket to set up a total of 255 for eight at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. While defending the target, pacer Saini (5/46) ran through West Indies A with a five-wicket haul to bowl out the home team for 190 in 43.5 overs. Gaikwad and Gill batted for nearly 31 overs and struck nine boundaries and three sixes between them. While Gaikwad hit five fours and two sixes, Gill found the fence four times and crossed it once. Manish Pandey (27), Hanuma Vihari (23) and Ishan Kishan (24) all got starts but Romario Shepherd (4/36) made a solid comeback in the death overs to contain India A from posting a bigger total. Chasing 256 for win, West Indies A lost John Campbell in the second over to Khaleel Ahmed. Saini, who came into bowl as second change, then rattled West Indies A’s backbone by dismissing Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase and Jonathan Carter in quick time to reduce the hosts to 77 for five. Raymon Reifer played a fighting 71-run knock off 105 balls but he lacked support from the other end. Towards the end Shepherd remained not out on 34. The third unofficial ODI between the two sides will be played at the same stadium here on Tuesday.
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