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India A clinch Quadrangular series with 4-wicket win over Australia A

Kedar Jadhav was the top-scorer for India with 78 but it was Rishi Dhawan who scored 56 to finish the chase © Getty Images
Kedar Jadhav was the top-scorer for India with 78 but it was Rishi Dhawan who scored 56 to finish the chase © Getty Images

Aug 2, 2014

India A successfully chased Australia’s total of 274 to win the Quadrangular One-Day series at Darwin on Saturday. In a tense chase, the Indian middle-order once again put up a collective performance to see the team home. Kedar Jadhav held the innings together at the start with 78 but it was Rishi Dhawan‘s exploits towards the end which saw them home. Dhawan scored 56 and shared an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 93 runs with Akshar Patel (45).

India’s record chasing in this tournament was very impressive. In five of their previous chases, they lost only once against the same team in their opening match and won the others with ease. Their middle-order had put up a splendid performance. Everytime they have found themselves in a tough situation, someone has stood up to shepherd the innings; but for the first time it have been Dhawan and Patel who starred for India.

Both teams were well aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. Having won the toss, Australian skipper Cameron White opted to set the score once again despite losing in the last league match. White opened the batting alongside Phil Hughes. The duo were in not trouble on a batsman-friendly wicket as they scored steadily. It was Dhawal Kulkarni who finally found the breakthrough with 146 on board dismissing Hughes for 51. There was no respite for the bowlers as White then stitched another stand of 74 with Alex Doolan.

With over 200 on board after 40 overs, the stage was set for an explosive White to break free. He managed to post his highest List A score with a century but it was critical for him to accelerate from thereon which he failed. Credit to the Indian bowlers who didn’t give away easy runs despite not getting enough wickets. Spinners Akshar Patel and Karn Sharma kept a tight leash in the middle overs before Kulkarni struck with the wicket of White. Ben Cutting hit a 21-ball 35 to take them to 274.

The Indian chase got off to a poor start with Manan Vohra and Robin Uthappa dismissed in quick succession. Ambati Rayudu too didn’t last long. But Manoj Tiwary and Jadhav stuck together to keep India in hunt. The duo successfully managed to keep up with the required rate. Tiwary scored his second fifty of the tournament and was dismissed it soon after.

Tiwary’s dismissal brought the most consistent batsman in this series, Sanju Samson to the crease. Samson has remained unbeaten thrice in run-chase this series but couldn’t do much this time as he was run-out for five. It was critical for Jadhav to hold the innings together but he too departed soon for 78. At 182 for six, things looked bleak for India. However, Dhawan and Patel showed maturity and compusre to keep things moving steadily.

The pair waited until the last five overs to show some urgency. Dhawan hit a six and a four in the 46th over which completely tilted the equation in India’s favour and they cantered home with a four-wicket win.

Brief scores:

Australia A 274 for 5 in 50 overs (Phil Hughes 51, Cameron White 137; Dhawal Kulkarni 3 for 48) lost to India A 275 for 6 in 48.4 overs (Manoj Tiwary 50, Kedar Jadhav 78, Rishi Dhawan 56*, Akshar Patel 45*; Ben Cutting 3 for 46) by 4 wickets.

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