Patel stakes claim in draw
Samit Patel completed his maiden century for England as the tour match with India A meandered to a draw at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
Having resumed on 286 for four, England progressed to 426 all out and a first-innings lead of 57 on the final day of three.
Skipper Alastair Cook added just seven to his overnight 112, but was soon followed to three figures by Patel, who is staking a strong claim for the number-six berth ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad starting in a fortnight.
The batting all-rounder was eventually dismissed for 104, the fourth of five victims for Yuvraj Singh, while wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior chipped in with a breezy 51.
India A subsequently reached 124 for four before the sides eventually called time on the action in what proved an extremely competitive warm-up for the tourists.
Seamer James Anderson, who claimed two wickets in India A's second innings, spoke highly of both Patel and Cook afterwards.
“I thought he [Patel] was outstanding in this game, showed great temperament and just looked calm and controlled,” said Anderson.
“He played at his own tempo - Cooky at the other end, playing at his, which is very different to Samit’s - and I thought they complemented each other very well."
Of Patel, Anderson added: “He’s a very good all-round player. He plays spin very well. He was very controlled and composed out there, and that’s what you need in these conditions.
“Often the crowd can be noisy out here, and there are a lot of distractions and pressure created by men around the bat. That’s what you have to overcome.”
Cook, too, gave a perfect demonstration of his most important attributes - determination and concentration - batting almost throughout yesterday and into today.
“It’s to be expected, really. That’s the way he is, very determined,” said Anderson. “He wants to lead by example, and he showed exactly that in this game.”
Cook's fine innings - and a fifth-wicket partnership of 169 - was brought to an end when he was caught behind off Ashok Dinda in the fifth over of the morning.
Patel remained, however, and was content to adopt an anchor role as the fluent Prior benefited from a series of trademark cuts.
Both men departed in the same Yuvraj over, Prior edging to slip before Patel was caught at cover, having matched Cook in striking 14 fours.
Tim Bresnan, who finished unbeaten on 33, and Graeme Swann duly carried England into the lead, only for the latter to be yorked by Vinay Kumar.
Anderson was then caught at short-leg for 19 as Yuvraj completed figures of 5-94 from 26.5 overs.
With a draw seemingly inevitable, there was still an opportunity for the tourists’ attack - minus the injured Steven Finn, who did not bat - to get further practice in ahead of this weekend’s second warm-up fixture.
Anderson wasted little time in ousting Abhinav Mukund, who got a leading edge to mid-off, for three, but Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane dug in to extinguish any realistic possibility of a positive result heading into the final session.
There was no letting up from Anderson, who had Vijay caught at wide slip to end a productive 65-run stand.
Yuvraj then joined Rahane to give the final throes of the contest a brief spark until he slapped a catch to mid-on off Bresnan, who would have had two wickets in three balls had Anderson clung on to a tough chance at gully to see off Suresh Raina for nought.
Patel continued his fine day by having Rahane caught at slip for 54 - after which England understandably declined any further offer of more bowling than might prove beneficial for a depleted attack as early handshakes were exchanged.