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Friday, December 04, 2020

Axar Patel’s valiant 81 goes in vain as Windies A beat India A by 5 runs in a thriller

Axar Patel revived India A's run chase with a 63-ball 81 but could not help the side win the match. India A needed nine runs in the last over but could manage only three.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 20, 2019 10:06:18 am
Axar Patel needed a six off the last ball of the match (Source: Youtube Grab)

Axar Patel’s heroics on Friday went in vain as India A got bundled out for 293, chasing a target of 299 at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua in the fourth unofficial ODI. Chasing for the first time in the five-match series, India A kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.

While the top-order batsmen failed to bring out big scores or anchor the run chase. Axar Patel remained not out on 81 but kept running out of partners. India A lost to West Indies A by a narrow margin of five runs in the last over of the innings.

India A’s run chase got off to a good start but Sherfane Rutherford pulled off a spectacular run-out to dismiss Anmolpreet Singh. Wickets kept falling as the required run rate started to climb up. Once again, Hanuma Vihari failed to convert a good start into a big score. The wickets of Krunal Pandya and skipper Manish Pandey in quick succession put immense pressure on the batsmen as they got out in consecutive overs. Ishan Kishan succumbed to the pressure and lost his wicket too as India A were reduced to 160 for 6 in the 32nd over.

Washington Sundar and Patel stitched a partnership to bring India A back into the game. But Sundar lost his wicket for 45. With 79 more runs to win and only three wickets left, Patel switched on the attacking mode. His 63-ball 81 had eight fours and one six. In the last over India A needed 9 runs to win but Rovman Powell held his nerve and did not let the Indian all-rounder finish the job.

Earlier, the Windies A batsmen put up a good show as they posted the highest innings total of the series. Opener Sunil Ambris got the hosts off to a fiery start despite the early wicket of Kjorn Ottley. Ambris stitched a partnership with Devon Thomas but missed out on his half-century by four runs.

Skipper Roston Chase promoted himself up the order and scored the highest score by a Windies batsman in the series. He scored 84 from 100 deliveries whereas Thomas scored 70 from 95 balls. The duo endured the spell of two left-arm spinners  Sundar, Patel in the middle overs. Jonathan Carter capitalised on the foundation and contributed with a quickfire fifty. Windies were dominating the Indian bowlers but they suffered a batting collapse in the death overs. From 254 for 3 in 45th over they were reduced to 289 for 9 in the 50th over.

However, amidst the batting collapse, Romario Shepherd’s cameo helped Windies A get near the 300-run mark. Shepherd scored an unbeaten 8-ball 21. For Manish Pandey-led India A, Khaleel and Avesh Khan were top wicket-takers with four and three wickets in the match respectively.

Despite the loss, India A are still leading the five-match series by 3-1.

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