Bridgetown (Barbados), Jun 4, (IANS/CMC): Medium-pacer Jonathan Carter's superb bowling overshadowed a brilliant innings of 94 by Rohit Sharma as India A grabbed a narrow first-innings lead over West Indies A at Kensington Oval here.
Carter, who bowled at a brisk pace from the Joel Garner end at the north, took a career-best five for 63 from 17 overs to help West Indies A dismiss India A for 277 late on the second day of the four-day 'Test' Sunday.
Carter was well assisted by left-arm pacer Delorn Johnson, who bowled with sustained pace to take three for 29 from 14.1 overs.
Rohit Sharma played well and was supported by half-centuries from skipper Cheteshwar Pujara and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, as India A secured a first innings lead of 25.
West Indies A, who made 252 in the first innings Saturday, had reached 3-0 off six overs in their second innings at the close of play - a deficit of 22 with two days left in the four-day encounter.
Carter, who entered the match with just three first-class wickets, was almost unplayable as he got movement off the pitch in his first spell and later returned with reverse swing in his second spell.
He got the ball to deviate off the seam and sent back opener Shikhar Dhawan (9) at 21 for three with his first ball and also had skipper Pujara (50), both caught behind by keeper Devon Thomas, with the score on 114 for four.
In his superb third spell, Carter brought the ball back in and trapped Rahul Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar leg-before wicket as India A slipped to 229 for eight. Carter's fifth wicket came when Shami Ahmed chipped a full length ball to skipper Veerasammy Permaul at mid-on at 231 for nine.
Rohit Sharma played well to keep the India A innings together but fell four short of what would have been his 13th first-class century.
The 25-year-old right-hander, with 80 One-Day Internationals under his belt and a highest first-class score of 307 not out, faced 159 balls and hit 10 fours and a six.
He looked set for a century before he was undone by a Johnson in-swinger.
The six-foot-five-inch Johnson, who delivers the ball from a high action, was also impressive and gave West Indies A a tremendous start when he uprooted the middle stump of Abhinav Mukund with the fifth ball of the innings without a run on the board.
In the next over with one run added, Ajinkya Rahane was run out by a direct hit from Lendl Simmons after a mix-up with Dhawan.
A relaxed-looking Rohit Sharma then shared in two vital partnerships. He put on 93 for the fourth wicket with Pujara and after the skipper fell, he posted another 72 off 95 balls for the fifth wicket with Manoj Tiwary.
Tiwary was in great touch and eased his way to 40 off 46 balls with three boundaries and two sixes off the slow bowlers before he was plumb leg-before to seamer Jason Holder.
From 186 for five the Indian innings then went into decline and they slipped to 231 for nine and it required a last wicket stand of 46 between Saha, with a well-complied 56 off 92 balls, and Ashok Dinda (8 not out) to give the Indians the lead.
West Indies A: 252 all out (Veerasammy Permaul 66, Devon Thomas 57, Jonathan Carter 35, Nkrumah Bonner 25; Shami Ahmed 3-43, Rahul Sharma 3-73) and three without loss.
India A: 277 (Rohit Sharma 94, Cheteshwar Pujara 50, Manoj Tiwary 40; Jonathan Carter 5-63, Delorn Johnson 3-39).