India A rode on a solid all-round performance to clinch the Quadrangular one-day series, thrashing Australia by 57 runs in the final clash here on Sunday.
India A skipper Manish Pandey sprung a surprise by opting to bat first against Australia A in the quadrangular A-team One-Day Series final at the Ray Mitchell Oval, Harrup Park despite the chasing team winning four out of the last five games at this venue.
India A had fallen short by just one run while chasing 322 against the same opposition a few days ago. Yet, Pandey’s decision was vindicated as his players put in a superb all-round display to win by 57 runs and clinch the title.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, India A put up 266/4 in their 50 overs before bowling out the hosts for 209 in 44.5 overs.
Mandeep Singh was the star of India’s batting performance with a 108-ball 95, which was laced with 11 hits to the fence.
The chase began in decent fashion for Australia A as openers Cameron Bancroft and Kurtis Patterson put on 30 in the first six overs before Dhawal Kulkarni disturbed the latter’s furniture. Bancroft was the next to depart as Nair bowled him for 34 after the wicketkeeper batsman had raised a fifty-run stand with Nic Maddinson.
With 79 needed off the final ten overs, the big-hitting Marcus Stoinis was Australia’s only hope. Chahal though, got rid of the dangerous all-rounder and Kane Richardson in the same over to stamp India’s authority. It was a formality in the end as the hosts added just 20 more runs before folding for 209 in the 45th over.
Nair struck again in his fourth over to get rid of the well set left-hander for 31. Maddinson was clearly shocked by the umpire’s verdict after appearing to suggest he hadn’t nicked the ball to the keeper.
Mandeep, who was named Player of the Match, combined with captain Manish Pandey (61) to steer India to what turned out to be a winning total. Shreyas Iyer was also vital with his 41 runs. Australia had four wicket-takers with one scalp each.
In reply, Cameron Bancroft (34) and Nic Maddinson started well, but it was Yuzvendra Chahal (4-34) who was the ultimate winner from the innings, taking key scalps and bringing the game India A’s way. Australia A skipper Pete Handscomb (43) combined with Alex Ross (34) to edge closer to the total, but the back end of the game went completely in the tourists favour as they claimed the last five wickets for just 26 runs. India A have now claimed the last three ‘A’ series, defeating Australia A on each occasion in the final.
The other two teams in the series were South Africa A and the Australian National Performance Squad.