An inspired Yuvraj Singh once again led from the front with an all-round effort while leg-spinner Rahul Sharma produced a five-for as India ‘A’ cantered to a crushing 93-run win in the one-off Twenty20 match against the West Indies ‘A’ here today.
Opting to bat,the hosts posted a mammoth 214 for seven,before bowling out the visitors for just 121 in 16.3 overs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium,which witnessed Andre Russell creating a record in List A cricket as he grabbed four wickets in as many balls in a sensational bowling effort,which,however,went in vain.
Before picking up two wickets,Yuvraj had stroked his way to a 35-ball 52,hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Both Unmukt Chand (47 off 29) and Kedar Jadhav (42 off 21) belted four fours and two sixes each in their brisk knocks.
With the ball,Rahul was by far the most impressive bowler,returning impressive figures of five for 23 on a pitch where his teammates plundered runs at will. The win could be called a consolation for the hosts after the 1-2 defeat in the unofficial ODI series.
Earlier,after being carted around by the Indian batsmen,the West Indies ‘A’,albeit a little too late into the innings,found their man in Russell who dismissed Jadhav,Yuvraj (52),Naman Ojha (0) and Yusuf Pathan (0) in the first four deliveries of the penultimate over.
The damage had,however,been done by then as the hosts closed in on 200. Seeking to make a comeback to the Indian team,Yuvraj put on a handy 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Jadhav,capitalising on a good start given by Uthappa and Chand for the first wicket. The opening duo put on 74 runs in 6.4 overs before they were separated.
The left-handed Yuvraj was merciless against some wayward bowling and played shots at will before edging Russell to West Indies ‘A’ captain Kieran Powell at midwicket.
Jhadav,who was sent into bat ahead of Yusuf,did not disappoint. Initially,Jadhav even outscored Yuvraj. He was a treat to watch as he collected runs with his lofted and ground shots.
The Maharashtra lad fell to Russell after he mistimed a lofted shot. Other wicket-takers for West Indies were Ashley Nurse (2 for 18) and Veerasammy Permaul (1 for 35).
Electing to bat,India got off to an excellent start as Uthappa and Chand,who looked out of sorts in the ODI series,played positively.
The duo matched each other stroke for stroke and were not not afraid to take the aerial route. Just when the opening stand was looking ominous,Uthappa was trapped leg before off an arm ball by Veerasammy Permaul in the seventh over.
Three overs later,Chand was caught at midwicket by Kirk Edwards off Nurse. Nurse again struck,dismissing Baba Aparajith for three as he gave a straight catch to Edwards at midwicket,leaving India at 109 for three. Yuvraj and Jadhav then propelled India ‘A’ to a big total.
Yuvraj was at it with the ball,too. Coming on to bowl with the visitors struggling at 55 for three in six overs,the host skipper soon made an impact as he packed off second ODI centurion Jonathan Carter (6) and the dangerous Russell (12).
The West Indies ‘A’ soon collapsed with as many as 22 balls left in the innings.
The Indian bowlers came hard at West Indian batsmen and did not give them much room to score.
Captain Powell (6) and Bonner (18) lost their wickets while trying to pull short-pitched stuffs from R Vinay Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat.
Rahul had Kirk Edwards caught by Pathan. The leggie then removed Andre Fletcher,Nurse,Devon Thomas and Beaton in his four-over spell.