From abandoned matches to last ball finishes, from ducks to last ball sixes, this tournament had it all
India ‘B’ emerged the ‘A’ Team Quadrangular champions after beating Australia ‘A’ by nine wickets in the final at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. More than 100 Indian players were in action last month with as much as 6 teams participating in different tournaments.
Two of those six teams, India ‘A’ and India ‘B’ were part of this tournament, the other three being India Red, Blue and Green playing in the Duleep Trophy and the sixth being the senior team itself. With the first four matches were washed out without a ball being bowled, the tournament was moved out of Vijaywada to Bengaluru and Alur.
In match 5, Australia ‘A’ won the toss and elected to bat first against India ‘A’ and were skittled out for just 151, thanks to a four-wicket haul from Mohammed Siraj and 3 for 31 from Krishnappa Gowtham, the local boy. The Indian chase wasn’t as easy as it looked as they were 29 for 4 at one stage. The Aussie quick Jhye Richardson bowled a brilliant opening spell and dismissed Indian opener Ravikumar Samarth and no.3 Sanju Samson in successive deliveries.
The other opener Suryakumar Yadav was soon dismissed as the Aussie quicks and Ashton Agar stopped the flow of runs and reduced the run rate. The captain Shreyas Iyer also didn’t last long and was dismissed for 4 runs in 23 balls. The experienced Ambati Rayudu, who was selected in the Indian ODI team but was dropped on fitness grounds, hold ends with all-rounder Krunal Pandya and added 109 runs for the fifth wicket. His patient innings of unbeaten 62 runs in 107 balls lead India to a five wicket victory in the 39th over.
On the same day, India ‘B’ started their campaign with a win over South Africa ‘A’ by 30 runs in a rain hit game. African batsman Senuran Muthuswamy, Indian quick bowler Prasidh Krishna and India ‘A’ captain Manish Pandey were the stand out performers in the game.
Australia ‘A’ registered the tournament’s highest score against South Africa ‘A’ in the next game and won the remainder of their games to become the first team to qualify for the final. India ‘B’ also continued their winning run, beating India ‘A’ by 7 wickets but lost their final game to Australia ‘A’ in dramatic fashion.
The Aussies needed five more runs to win the game on the last ball of the inning when their target was reduced to 247 to be chased in 40 overs due to rain. Aussie all-rounder Jack Wildermuth finished the game with a six on the last ball of the match. Prasidh Krishna was the bowler.
The Indian captain Manish Pandey scored an unbeaten 117 in the game. Usman Khawaja, the experienced Australia bowler, who is looking for a comeback in the senior national team, played a man-of-the-match inning of 101 not out in 93 deliveries. It was an important knock for Khawaja as the Australian senior team is slated to play two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals.
South Africa ‘A’, after losing their first two games, were considered out of the tournament and required a victory with a bonus point, which they did convincingly. If India ‘B’ had beaten Australia that day, South Africa would have qualified for the final but Jack Wildermuth had some other plans. The top two teams were Australia ‘A’ and India ‘B’, South Africa ‘A’ and India ‘A’ were slated to play for the third place. Indian fast bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a comeback to senior level cricket with this game and bowled a match winning spell of 9-1-33-3 to skittle down the African team to 151.
India ‘B’ won the toss and elected to bowl first in the final at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Aussies were given a good start by D’Arcy Short and Usman Khawaja. The opening pair added 51 runs for the first wicket before India took two back to back wickets including that of captain Travis Head for a duck. The Aussies were looking in a good position at 192-4 when they had 3 good partnerships. But Ashton Agar’s wicket at this score opened the gates for the Indian spinners.
Shreyas Gopal dismissed the dangerous Alex Carey (53) and Jack Wildermuth in successive deliveries. Australia were dismissed for 225 in 47.5 overs. The spin trio of Shreyas Gopal, Deepak Hooda and Jalaj Saxena picked up six wickets combined.
The in-form and most successful Indian batsman from the last domestic season, Mayank Agarwal gave India a good start with Ishan Kishan and then Shubman Gill when Kishan was retired hurt. Agarwal was hitting the ball well and waited for the ball to come at him. He hit nine fours and launched two big sixes at Ashton Agar stepping out of the crease. He was beaten only once by Agar, when he failed to play a cut shot and was dismissed in similar fashion in Agar’s next over.
The Indian captain Manish Pandey then added unbeaten 120 runs with Gill to take India ‘B’ to victory. Pandey took 10 deliveries to score his first run. The first scoring shot for Pandey was a six over long on. Shubman Gill also completed his first half century of this tournament before Pandey finished the game off with a six.
Thoroughly enjoyed being part of this winning team 😍and contributing to its success 💪🏻🍻 #cricketlife #IndiaB #quadrangularseries2018
HIGHEST RUN SCORERS:
- Manish Pandey (India B): 306
- Mayank Agarwal (India B): 236
- Ambati Rayudu (India A): 187
- Shubman Gill (India B): 154
- Usman Khawaja (Australia A): 147
HIGHEST WICKET TAKERS:
- Shreyas Gopal (India B): 9
- Prasidh Krishna (India B): 8
- Dane Paterson (South Africa A): 7
- Khaleel Ahmed (India A): 7
- Sisanda Magala (South Africa): 6
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