Root underpins EPP victory
Yorkshire’s Joe Root smashed an unbeaten 157 as the England Performance Programme started life in the sub-continent with a convincing 127-run victory over Poona Club.
Opening batsman Root blazed 19 fours in his 144-ball stay at the crease and was assisted by Scott Borthwick, who made 68, as the pair shared in a sixth-wicket partnership of 144.
Captain James Taylor struck 42 as the EPP reached 354 for eight from 50 overs.
In reply, Poona were reliant on 50 from R Karanjkar and A Waikar’s 41 from 37 balls as they were bowled out for 227 with spinner Danny Briggs claiming 4-33 and Lancashire duo Stephen Parry and Simon Kerrigan sharing five wickets.
After losing the toss, EPP started poorly, slipping to 23 for two, as Alex Hales was trapped lbw by S Siddique for nine and James Vince was bowled by A Chavan for four.
However, Root and Taylor dug in to add 86 for the third wicket, before Waikar accounted for the Nottinghamshire batsman.
Jos Buttler and Jason Roy were dismissed in quick succession as the EPP slumped to 143 for five before Root and Borthwick came together.
The pair’s impressive 16-over alliance helped England post a competitive total as Borthwick hit eight fours and a maximum in his 57-ball innings.
Borthwick became G Kukade’s second victim and as the EPP looked to add late runs, Parry and Naik fell cheaply, leaving the magnificent Root and Briggs, who hit three fours in six balls, to give England momentum.
Parry struck with the third ball of the innings, trapping S Gugale lbw and, after M Sehmbey was run out, Kerrigan took two wickets to leave Poona Club rocking on 50 for four.
Briggs claimed two scalps and then another either side of Parry’s double breakthrough including Karankar, who hit nine fours in his 56-ball knock, and Chavan for 35.
Waikar hit three fours and three sixes to provide some late resistance, but the Hampshire spinner returned to dismiss him and wrap up the comfortable victory.