Rahane, Kishan do it for India C in the final

Rahane, Kishan do it for India C in the final

TALE OF TWO SKIPPERS While Ajinkya Rahane's (left) ton resulted in India C's win, Shreyas Iyer's 148 proved inadequate for India B in the Deodhar Trophy final on Saturday. DH File Photo

Ajinkya Rahane and Ishan Kishan hit sparkling tons to help India C tame India B by 29 runs in the final of the Deodhar Trophy at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium here on Saturday.

Electing to bat, Rahane (144 n.o.) and Kishan (114) saw off the tricky early overs before opening up their arms in good batting conditions. Their opening partnership of 210 laid the foundation of India C’s mammoth total of 352/7 with only left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat managing to conjure respectful figures of 3/52 for India B.

India B’s challenge was led by captain Shreyas Iyer (148 off 114 balls), who nearly pulled his team through with a stroke-filled 148 but fell when they were 44 runs away from the finishing line. His departure sparked a swift end with India B folding for 323 in 46.1 overs.

India B lost Mayank Agarwal early when he attempted to cut left-arm spinner Pappu Roy, only to edge it to the wicketkeeper. However, a century stand (116) between opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and Iyer for the second wicket revived India B’s campaign. It was now the turn of India C bowlers to get frustrated, but Gaikwad mistimed Roy to long-off in the 22nd over to provide relief to the fielding side.

Quick departures of in-form batsmen Hanuma Vihari and Manoj Tiwary compounded India B’s troubles, but Iyer stubbornly held the innings together. The young captain didn’t compromise on aggression despite regularly losing partners and also rotated the strike. He got good support from Ankush Bains, but he too was dismissed by Roy. Iyer, though, looked poised to finish the job, but he top-edged leg-spinner Rahul Chahar in the 43rd over. Iyer’s entertaining innings, however, fell short of the ultimate task – a win for India B.

Earlier, Rahane, who had struggled to find runs in the tournament, played a fluent knock. He began with purpose, and grew better. Ishan, who took 31 balls to make six runs, cut loose once the spinners were introduced. K Gowtham was smacked for an extra-cover four and straight six in the 14th over by Kishan, who was simply unstoppable from there on. In no time, he overtook Rahane to half-century and later raised his century in mere 76 balls.

Rahane happily stepped back to allow Kishan the stage to revel, before reaching his century in the 40th over. Rahane was later joined by Suryakumar Yadav, who provided the late thrust with a few big hits, much to the delight of the crowd, which was treated to a feast of shot-making throughout the day.

Brief scores: India C: 352/7 in 50 overs (Ajinkya Rahame 144 n.o., Ishan Kishan 114, Suryakumar Yadav 39; Jaydev Unadkat 3-52) bt India B: 323 all out in 46.1 overs (Rituraj Gaikwad 60, Shreyas Iyer 148; Pappu Roy 3-75).

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