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Cricket news - Thakur, Pant star as India A go four up

Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 73

India A extended their dominance over the England Lions for the fourth game as Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant played starring roles with ball and bat respectively to seal a convincing six-wicket victory. Thakur took 4 for 49 to keep the visitors down to a sub-par 221, a total that India A's top-order complicated before passing on the baton to Pant, who combined with Deepak Hooda for an unbeaten 120-run partnership that saw the hosts past the line.

With the series already in the bag, India A fielded a new-look XI, which included India internationals KL Rahul and Pant. Rahul, cleared to play for the A team after a brief suspension, played a watchful innings of 42 after losing opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad for a duck. Ricky Bhui scored a breezy 35 from No.3 but his dismissal allowed England Lions to apply a middle-overs squeeze with Ankit Bawne struggling to turn the strike over. The India A skipper was dismissed for a 36-ball 12 and was followed to the dressing room by Rahul, who failed to make good on his start.

At 102/4 in the 28th over, there was still significant work to be done for the follow-up batsmen. But as with the chase in the first one-dayer, India A's lower-order was more than up for the task. Pant, fresh off a century in the New Year's Test against Australia, took charge of the chase and found an able companion in Deepak Hooda. Pant finished with 73 off 76 with six fours and three sixes while Hooda remained unbeaten on 47 when the chase was polished off in the 47th over.

Earlier in the day, Thakur enjoyed his best game since return from a groin injury suffered on Test debut, dismissing both openers Alex Davies and Will Jacks cheaply. Thakur came back to claim two more wickets at the death. Those wickets help offset the little momentum that the visitors had gained through a 63-run partnership between half-centurions Ollie Pope (65 off 103) and Steven Mullaney. The latter remained undefeated on 58 off 54 but couldn't push his team to a total that was Pant-proof.

Brief scores: England Lions 221/8 in 50 overs (Ollie Pope 65, Steven Mullaney 58*; Shardul Thakur 4-49) lost to India A 222/4 in 46.3 (Rishabh Pant 73*, Deepak Hooda 47*; Will Jacks 2-35) by six wickets.

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