Edwards ton flattens India as WI 'A' win series

Edwards ton flattens India as WI 'A' win series

Visitors crush Yuvi's boys by 45 runs

Edwards ton flattens India as WI 'A' win series

West Indies ‘A’ exploited the inconsistencies of India ‘A’ in their batting and bowling to the hilt to register a 45-run win in the third one-dayer at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Thursday.

Indian bowlers’ sub-par effort helped the visitors muster a massive 312 for nine in 50 overs with Kirk Edwards leading their charge with a well-crafted run-a-ball 104 (12x4, 4x6).

At various stages, Indians raised the visions of scaling the target down, but none of their batsmen was able to stay long enough at the crease as the hosts ended at 267 for eight. West Indies, thus, won the one-day leg 2-1, and the lone T20 match will be played at the same venue on Saturday.

Indian skipper Yuvraj Singh opted to bowl first, a decision, perhaps, prompted by an overcast morning. But only the atmosphere looked gloomy as the West Indians made merry on a largely benign pitch. Openers – Andre Fletcher and skipper Kieran Powell – gave Windies a bright start, milking 74 in 13.2 overs and the Caribbeans seldom let the advantage slip away.

Indians created a slight foothold, dismissing Fletcher and Powell in the space of five runs. Left-arm spinner Shahabaz Nadeem, who was easily the best Indian bowler on view, snared both the Windies openers, and it was a superb opportunity for the home side to choke the run flow with some tidy bowling.

But what happened was exactly opposite to it. West Indians stitched together successive half-century stands for the third and fourth wickets, and Indians helped them generously with some trashy stuff during this period. Edwards, who made a Test hundred on debut against India at Dominica in 2011, joined hands with Jonathan Carter to add 66 runs.

The alliance gave Windies a great platform from where they could push for some quick runs in the middle and late overs, and they realized that task through Edwards and Leon Johnson, who added 93 runs off just 80 balls to carry Windies near to a 300-plus total. It would have been much bigger total than the eventual 312, but for a five-wicket haul by pacer Jaydev Unadkat.

Edwards, who couldn’t do much in the first two matches, made amends with a well-balanced knock, and Indians too gave him a reprieve when he was on 47 off Yusuf Pathan.

The drop also cost India dear in more than one way. Mandeep Singh hurt his finger while attempting to take the catch at deep, and the Punjab player didn’t take the field again for the remainder of the match, depriving India of a batsman during the chase.

Indians too made a rather good start to their innings with Robin Uthappa, who looked solid till he ran himself out, and Baba Aparajith, who replaced Unmukt Chand in the eleven, added 46 for the opening wicket. But Uthappa’s run out and Naman Ojha’s early dismissal pegged Indians back, but the brightest phase in Indian innings came after the twin blows.

Yuvraj Singh (61, 59b, 4x4, 3x6) and Aparajith (78, 95b, 6x4, 1x6) punished the West Indians during an entertaining third-wicket alliance, realising 112 runs in 117 balls. Windies bowlers looked a listless lot at this juncture as the Indians put away a slew of freebies with utter disdain.

But offie Ashley Nurse broke the bludgeoning stand, castling Yuvraj to silence the nearly 12,000 spectators. Veer­asw­amy Perumal bowled Aparajith and Miguel Cummins soon rattled Yusuf Pathan’s timber as Indian chase met with a meek end.

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