India A bag Quadrangular Series in Australia

Mackay (Australia), Sep 4 (IANS) Batsman Mandeep Singh (95) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (4/34) helped India A claim the Quadrangular Series cricket title for the third consecutive year, defeating Australia A by 57 runs here on Sunday.

Mandeep, who scored a majestic 95 off 108 balls, was pivotal in the victory as he, alongside series-leading run-scorer Manish Pandey (61), helped the tourists’ total 266/4 in 50 overs.

Chahal then ran through Australia A’s lower and middle order, picking up four wickets in an impressive showing as the home side were bowled out for 209 in 44.5 overs.

Dhawal Kulkarni, Karun Nair and Axar Patel also picked up two wickets apiece as the Rahul Dravid-coached side cantered to an easy win in the final.

At the start of the contest, right-hander Mandeep and Shreyas Iyer (41) helped the Indians shrug off the early loss of Karun Nair (1).

Mandeep and Iyer formed an 81-run stand for the second wicket before captain Pandey came and further strengthen his side’s innings with a 61 in 71 deliveries.

They stitched together a partnership of 87 runs for the third wicket before Mandeep was caught by Cameron Bancroft off Joe Mennie, with India’s score at 170/3 in the second ball of the 37th over. Mandeep’s knock was laced with 11 boubdaries.

Later, Kedar Jadhav (25 not out) and Patel (22 not out) finished off India A’s innings to set Australia A an imposing target of 267.

In reply, the hosts got off to a good start as their first wicket partnership yielded 31 before Kurtis Patterson was dismissed by a fired-up Kulkarni.

Bancroft (34) and Nic Maddinson (31) then consolidated, able to pick off the quicks and found the ropes six times between them, but the introduction of part-time off-spinner Nair undid both batsmen, starting a run of wickets in the middle overs.

Peter Handscomb (43) and Alex Ross (34) played handy innings in the latter stages of the chase. Ross displayed his usual array of sweeps and reverse-sweeps, while Handscomb looked assured and for a while, the pair looked to have their side on track during the middle overs.

But when the Australia A skipper Handscomb was caught on the boundary off Patel, it sparked a collapse of 6-26 as Australia A’s lower-order crumbled, handing India A a deserved victory.

Brief scores: India A: 266/4 (Mandeep Singh 95, Manish Pandey 61; Chris Tremain 1/42). Australia A: 209 all out (Peter Handscomb 43, Cameron Bancroft 34; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/34, Dhawal Kulkarni 2/22).



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