All-round India-B clinches Quadrangular Series

If the away side had hoped to build on the morale-boosting win over the same opposition on Monday, it wasn’t to be, as India-B chased down the 226-run target in a canter.

India B skipper Manish Pandey with coach Abhay Sharma and Mayank Agarwal pose with the 'Winner' and 'Man of the Match' trophy after beating Australia A in the Quadrangular 'A' Series final match, at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.   -  PTI

India-B pummelled Australia-A into submission, beating it by nine wickets in the final to clinch the Quadrangular Series at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday.

If the away side had hoped to build on the morale-boosting win over the same opposition on Monday, it wasn’t to be, as India-B chased down the 226-run target in a canter.

Mayank Agarwal (69, 67b, 9x4, 2x6) showed yet again that his appetite for runs remained undiminished. Much to the delight of the moderate weekday crowd, he started by sending the first ball scorching past the cover fielder. He would follow that with a flurry of boundaries and two effortless sixes over cover and mid-off.

When he was out bowled to Ashton Agar, after having scored nearly half of his runs off the left-arm spinner, it seemed completely against the run of play.

But Shubman Gill (66 n.o., 84b, 6x4, 1x6), the other batsman who helped put on 110 runs for the first wicket, held firm. Gill, coming in after Ishan Kishan retired hurt following a knock on his left wrist, was in fact caught superbly by Jack Wildermuth at short mid-wicket on zero off Billy Stanlake only for it to be deemed a no-ball.

It was a chance the teenager wouldn’t miss. Though unhurried in his shot-making, he scored with consummate ease, especially in the V, with his stand-out shots being the three on-drives and a majestic six over mid-on late in the innings.

Not to be left behind, Manish Pandey (73 n.o., 54b, 8x4, 3x6), notched up yet another half-century, unleashing his trademark brute-force approach that flattened Australia. The winning shot was a straight six, which took his tally for the series to 306 runs without being dismissed even once.

Australia-A falters after brisk start

Earlier, after Australia was put in to bat, D’Arcy Short and Usman Khawaja started briskly, collecting 23 runs from two Prasidh Krishna overs. Their assault however soon fizzled out. Paceman Navdeep Saini softened Khawaja up by beating him thrice in the eighth over before the Aussie fell to spinner Jalaj Saxena attempting a sweep.

On a two-paced wicket, Australia struggled, particularly while playing the slower bowlers, losing a number of batsmen to either cross-batted shots or leading edges. Short (72, 77b, 9x4) and middle-order bat Alex Carey (53, 56b, 3x4, 2x6) were the only ones to offer some resistance before the spin troika of Saxena, Shreyas Gopal and Deepak Hooda strangled and snared them too.

Man-of-the-match: Manish Pandey