Shubman Gill century powers India C to Deodhar Trophy final
Shubman Gill will be back in action against India B in the final on Sunday. (Getty Image)

Shubman Gill struck a fine century to help India C chase down India A’s target of 294 runs to not only bring up their second win of the Deodhar Trophy but also book a place in the final.

Chasing a challenging total, India A lost experiences campaigners Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina cheaply but Gill launched a fabulous counter-attack along with Ishan Kishan And Suryakumar Yadav and India C achieved the total with three overs to spare at Delhi’s Ferozshah Kotla ground on Thursday. The summit clash will be played on Sunday.

The early dismissal of Rahane for 14, followed by the wickets of Abhinav Mukund and Raina left India A at 85 for 3 in 18.2 overs. India A began sensing an opening but from there it was the Gill-Kishan show as the two batsmen put on 121 runs in 17 overs to take the team forward. Gill was at his strokeful best, scoring eight boundaries and three sixes – it was reminiscent if the century he scored against Pakistan in the semi-final of the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. Kishan wasn’t far behind either, contributing with a 60-ball 69 with the help of 11 boundaries.

Both took India A over 200 but shortly after R Ashwin trapped the left-handed Kishan out lbw. But there were to be no alarm bells, for Gill took over there onward. He received able support from Yadav, who smashed 56 off 36 with three fours and four sixes. Their unbeaten 90-run partnership was the death knell for India A as they were knocked out of the tournament. Dhawal Kulkarni and Shams Mulani picked up the other two wickets, with most of the bowlers going for runs. The biggest disappointment was Mohammad Siraj, who conceded 32 off three.

The defeat would hurt India A, especially considering the way their batsmen had performed. Half-centuries to Abhimanyu Easwaran, Anmolpreet Singh Nitish Rana set India A up beautifully for a strong total. They were 219/3 by the end of the 42nd over, after which Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav scored quickly to bring India A within striking distance of 300. Karthik scored 32 off 23 and Kedar Jadhav, returning from injury, added another 41 off just 25 balls with two fours and two sixes. Vijay Shankar finished as the most effective bowler with 3/40.

Brief scores: India C 296/4 in 47 overs (Gill 106*) beat India A 293/6 in 50 overs (Easwaran 69; Shankar 3/40) by six wickets