Young Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan gave a fine exhibition of their talent against a quality bowling attack to guide India C to a comfortable six-wicket victory over India A in the Deodhar Trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing India A’s total of 296/4, Gill grafted a sublime century (106 n.o., 111b, 8x4, 3x6) while left-handed Kishan (69 off 60b, 11x4) played an explosive innings. Both flourished in their inimitable styles in raising 121-run stand in 17.2 overs for the fourth wicket, which all but closed the doors on India A.
However, when R Ashwin broke the partnership, dismissing Kishan lbw in the 36th over, it opened up a small opening for India A, but seasoned Suryakumar Yadav smashed an unbeaten 56 off 36 balls and his 90-run partnership with Gill ensured India C romped home with three overs still remaining. India C will now face India B in the final on Saturday.
India C lost openers Ajinkya Rahane and Abhinav Mukund for just 69 runs inside 15 overs. Rahane’s bad patch continued to grab attention when Dhawal Kulkarni took a good low catch off his own bowling to remove the star India batsman. Mukund looked solid before chopping on left-arm spinner Shams Mulani. Suresh Raina, too, disappointed and was run out, leaving India C reeling at 85/3. It was here then that 19-year-old Gill and Kishan came together to forge a match-winning stand.
Gill, one of the star performers of India’s under-19 team which won the World Cup last year, once again impressed with his temperament. With his array of strokes, and fast bat speed, he beautifully paced his innings. He showed maturity in handling Ashwin, driving him for a four through extra cover besides launching him over mid-wicket for a six. India C captain Dinesh Karthik was not convincing with his bowling changes. After opening the attack with Ashwin, who bowled four overs with the new ball, he ran out of options towards the end.
Kishan batted with urgency and attacked pacer Mohammad Siraj, who was introduced as late as in the 25th over. Siraj bled 17 runs in two overs and had to be taken out of the attack. Kedar Jadhav was hardly a threat and the set batsmen made merry against him.
Earlier, electing to bat, India A got off to a good start, courtesy a 99-run opening stand of Abhimanyu Easwaran and Anmolpreet Singh, but then lost quick wickets. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar removed Easwaran before Nitish Rana an Jadhav joined hands to give a late thrust to the total.
DH News Service
Brief scores: India A: 293/6 in 50 overs (A Easwaran 69, Anmolpreet Singh 59, Nitish Rana 68, Kedar Jadhav 41; Vijay Shankar 3-40) bt India C: 296/4 in 47 overs (Shubman Gill 106 n.o., Ishan Kishan 69, Suryakumar Yadav 56 n.o.).