Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill slammed imperious centuries as India ‘A’ made short work of Sri Lanka ‘A’ in the second one-day match at the KSCA Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing 243 for victory, the host cruised home in 33.3 overs, with Gaikwad unbeaten on 125 (94b, 14x4, 4x6). Man-of-the-match Gill, who scored an elegant 109 (96b, 14x4, 2x6), retired hurt with cramps with the target 17 runs away. India ‘A’ now leads the five-match series 2-0.
Gill’s innings was a visual treat, with an array of delightful shots played all around the wicket. The 19-year-old had been dismissed cheaply in the first one-day match, but he made big amends here. He signaled his intentions early on with a hook shot off Asitha Fernando that sailed 20m over the fine-leg boundary.
Lahiru Kumara was cover-driven exquisitely, and Akila Dananjaya slog-swept over cow-corner. Gill got to his half-century with a pair of boundaries off Ishan Jayaratne, a front-foot cover drive followed by a glorious back-foot punch.
Gaikwad had been playing second-fiddle at this stage, but he soon went on the offensive, and overtook Gill to three figures. The 22-year-old from Maharashtra had made an unbeaten 187 in the first one-day game; on this occasion, he notched up a 78-ball century. Gaikwad has so far scored 312 runs this series without being dismissed once. India-A's opening stand, broken only by Gill's retirement after 30 overs, was worth a massive 226.
Earlier, Sri Lanka ‘A’ collapsed to 81 for six after being put in to bat. Shehan Jayasuriya, centurion from the opening game, rode to his side's rescue yet again, scoring a defiant 101 (139b, 8x4, 1x6). He found able support in Jayaratne, who hammered an unbeaten 73-ball-79, as the pair added 142 runs for the seventh wicket. Jayasuriya could have been dismissed on 28 when a miscued shot off Shreyas Gopal ballooned towards short third-man, but Ishan Porel failed to move quickly enough. In the end, though, it would make little difference to the outcome.
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