India 'A' clinch thriller

India 'A' clinch thriller

DELIGHT Ankit Bawne of India ‘A’ is ecstatic after taking his side past the finish line against Australia ‘A’ in the second four-day match at the Alur ground. DH Photo/ B H Shivakumar

India ‘A’ clinched a thrilling six-wicket victory over Australia ‘A’ on the final day of the second four-day game here at the Alur ground on Tuesday. 

India ‘A’ were set a tricky target of 55 from eight overs and the game turned interesting when the hosts were reduced to 11 for three in 2.1 overs. But Ankit Bawne’s fine cameo of 28 (18b, 3x4) saw Shreyas Iyer’s men prevail with 10 balls to spare and level the two-match series 1-1. 

Earlier, Australia ‘A’, trailing by 121 runs, rode on Peter Handscomb’s 56 to reach 213 all out. Australia ‘A’, who resumed from 28 for two, looked in control but India ‘A’ fought back into the game thanks to spin duo of K Gowtham (3/93) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/46). 

A well set Travis Head (47) was removed by Shahbaz Nadeem (2/67) but Kuldeep got the big scalp of Handscomb. Gowtham then didn’t allow Mitchell Marsh (36) to build on his start. The Karnataka off-spinner castled the Australia ‘A’ skipper to leave the visitors at 197-7. The spinners didn’t allow the tail to wag too long and Australia ‘A’ were all out for 213. 

Apart from the wobbly start, the fading light also troubled India ‘A’. The strategy of pushing Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill to open the innings didn’t work as they fell cheaply. India ‘A’ then lost their first innings hero K S Bharat (12). However Bawne, in fine touch, played a fine knock and the Maharashtra batsman threw his hands up in the air with delight after hitting the winning run. 

India ‘A’ had lost the first game by 98 runs at the Chinnaswamy stadium.  

Brief scores: Australia ‘A’: 346 all out in 109 overs & 213 all out in 102 overs (Peter Handscomb 56, Mitchell Marsh 36; DL Chahar 2-30, Shahbaz Nadeem 2-67, K Gowtham 3-93, Kuldeep Yadav 3-46) lt to India ‘A’: 505 all out in 144 overs & 55/4 in 6.2 overs (Ankit Bawne 28 not out; Micheal Nesser 2-28, Chris Tremain 2-26).