Mumbai: Opener Abhinav Mukund scored an attacking half century after an unconvincing start to pilot India A to 113 for three at lunch on day one of their three-day match against the touring England side here on Tuesday.

The left-handed opener played a few streaky shots, including a boundary through the slip cordon off the first ball of the match from James Anderson, before growing in confidence, once the Brabourne Stadium wicket eased out a bit.

Once settled after the initial sluggishness, Mukund dished out more authentic-looking shots before getting out on the stroke of lunch to Graeme Swann for 73 that included 16 hits to the fence.

The other two batsmen out in the pre-lunch session were Murali Vijay for seven and one-drop Ajinkya Rahane for four. Both faced 19 balls apiece. Vijay was run out going for a sharp single while Rahane was dismissed by a short, rising ball to his rib cage.
At lunch Yuvraj Singh, lucky to be dropped off the first ball he faced, was not out on 27 off 28 balls. He had struck five fours, most of them to the straight field, and a six over long off off Samit Patel just before the break.

Mukund, who had survived a confident shout for leg before off Anderson in the first over, was out in the last over before the break when he flicked off spinner Swann off the back foot only to find Ian Bell at short-leg who took a smart catch.

Earlier opting to bat after skipper Suresh Raina won the toss, India A lost Vijay (7 in 19 balls) early as he paid the penalty for trying to steal a run right under the nose of the rival bowler Tim Bresnan.

The opening pair put on 25 runs against the three-pronged English pace attack of Anderson, Steven Finn and Bresnan.

After Vijay's departure within the first hour, Mukund was joined by Rahane, who too was circumspect like Vijay.

Rahane struck an off-driven four off Bresnan, who got his revenge on the batsman in the next over with a short ball which the batsman fended to the slip cordon where Kevin Pietersen ran backwards a few steps to take the dolly.

Prior to Rahane's dismissal, Mukund slashed the tall Finn for successive fours and then on-drove the bowler for another boundary in the same over.

After Yuvraj Singh joined Mukund at the fall of Rahane's wicket, the opener clipped Bresnan off his toes for two fours in successive balls and then drove him to the straight boundary on the third. Yuvraj had off driven the bowler for a four before Mukund's all-out attack that also helped the batsman reach his 50 in 57 balls with 12 hits to the fence.

Yuvraj, who had a torrid time in England against the same opposition in the previous Test series in 2011, could have been out first ball had not Samit Patel dropped his flick at square leg off Bresnan.

Anderson was used in three spells while Finn bowled two before the interval. Off spinner Graeme Swann, expected to play a major role for his side in the series, bowled 4.5 overs after coming on to bowl in the second hour of play and got rid off Mukund.

Just before lunch left-arm spinner Patel was brought on but conceded two fours to Yuvraj in his first two balls and then a six off the last.


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