Nathu Singh's early three-wicket burst and captain Unmukt Chand's unbeaten 77 guided India 'B' to a comprehensive five-wicket win over India 'A' in the opening match of the Deodhar Trophy at the Green Park here on Monday.
Electing to field on a cold morning, India 'B' banked on its new ball bowlers to wrap up India 'A' for 161 and recovered from a minor collapse to romp home with more than 20 overs to spare.
Dhawal Kulkarni and the highly-rated Nathu Singh from Rajasthan made the most of the opportunity to give their team an early advantage.
With an impeccable action, Nathu stuck to a good line and length and delivered a double blow in his second over. His sharp incoming deliveries had Jalaj Saxena and Mandeep Singh bowled spectacularly within the space of three deliveries.
Three overs later, Kulkarni made a quiet Murali Vijay play a square cut and enjoyed watching Pawan Negi completing a diving catch.
Nathu castled Kedar Jadhav and Kulkarni, after changing ends and had Naman Ojha caught in the slips to reduce India 'A' to 29 for five in the 14th over.
However, captain Ambati Rayudu (58) and Pervez Rasool (66) applied themselves to forge a 104-run stand for the sixth wicket. Rayudu, who played patiently and picked up boundaries predominantly on the onside, and Rasool rotated the strike well and batted more freely when conditions improved.
Rasool, who got a reprieve when he was on 14 off Karn Sharma, struck six well-timed fours and a handsome six over extra-cover off Pawan Negi.
In fact, the duo targeted Negi to play some big shots and maintain a decent run rate.
It was, however, Negi who broke the partnership by having Rayudu stumped. Rasool fell to Stuart Binny before the India 'A' innings folded in the 45th over. Negi eventually returned figures of three for 50.
Amit Mishra applied the brakes on India 'B' by claiming three quick wickets.
After Shreyas Iyer (24) hit Mishra for a four and a six off consecutive balls, the leg-spinner retaliated by trapping the Mumbai batsman in front. Baba Aparajith departed off the very next delivery and Sheldon Jackson was also adjudged lbw in Mishra's following over.
India 'B' lost Suryakumar Yadav at 78 for four, but a determined Unmukt and an experienced Dinesh Karthik (34), who entertained with some clean hits, batted sensibly to add 81 runs and take their team closer to victory.
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