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Cricket news - Panchal, Bharat pound England Lions into the ground

Priyank Panchal hit 206 to set up India A's 200-run lead.

Priyank Panchal smashed an enterprising double hundred while Srikar Bharat played the perfect second fiddle with a massive 148 as India A asserted their dominance over England Lions on Day 3 in Wayanad. The pair's tall scores helped India declare at 540/6, exactly 200 more than the Lions' first innings total of 340 all out.

It also has ensured that the home team will not lose the game on the final day, giving them the luxury of going all out for a win. At Stumps, England had responded with 20/0, leaving them 180 behind to make India bat again.

The day started with both Panchal and KL Rahul, who'd finally managed to shrug off his poor form with a fifty, setting sights on individual centuries. While Rahul failed, falling to Briggs on 89, Panchal continued on to notch up his hundred.

India lost Ankit Bawne for duck immediately after Rahul's dismissal, while Ricky Bhui's dismissal for 16, leaving India at 262/4, gave the visitors a narrow crack back into the game. That was firmly shut by Bharat and Panchal.

The pair went on to add 198 runs for the fifth wicket, and at a rapid pace. Panchal who had gotten his eye in easily manipulated the field, while Bharat went on the attack. The wicketkeeper batsman launched eight sixes and 11 fours to end with 142 off just 139 balls. Panchal went on to notch up an impressive double century before falling to Zak Chappell for 206. Jalaj Saxena and Shardul Thakur too swung their bats around as India A declared with a lead of 200.

England managed to survive the five overs before bad light stopped play, but they will know there're a lot more challenges coming up on the morrow.

Brief scores: England Lions 340 (Ben Duckett 80, Will Jacks 63; Navdeep Saini 5-79) trail India A 540/6 (Priyank Panchal 206, Srikar Bharat 142; Zak Chappell 3-105) by 180 runs.

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