India 'A' completed a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka 'A' with a 152-run win in the second and final unofficial ‘Test, at KSCA Stadium here on Monday.
India 'A' applied the finishing touches, picking up the three remaining Sri Lanka 'A' wickets in the first hour of the morning session. Lakshan Sandakan fell in the fourth over of the day, trapped on the pads by leg-spinner Rahul Chahar. The key wicket of Kamindu Mendis was taken by off-spinner Jayant Yadav, who got one to stay low and strike timber. The last pair of Vishwa Fernando (32, 42b, 5x4, 1x6) and Lahiru Kumara (13, 20b, 1x4, 1x6) hung on gamely for 52 balls, until Fernando rushed out at Chahar and got stumped.
It was a match to remember for local cricketers Darshan Negalur and K. Mahantesh, who got to field for India 'A' on Sunday and Monday. Negalur and Mahantesh were called into action for brief periods as the 12-man India-A squad fell short of players. The duo did not get the chance to take catches or effect run-outs, but gave a good account of themselves in a most unexpected First-Class appearance.
The two teams will face each other in five one-day matches, commencing on June 6. The first three one-days will be held at Belagavi, while the final two games will be held at Hubballi.
India 'A' batting coach and former Saurashtra stalwart Sitanshu Kotak was thrilled with his team's terrific performance in this series. "We wanted to play attacking cricket and get the outright victories. That's why our batting run-rate stayed above 4-per-over right through this series. Another big positive was that we were able to give all players match-time. (Head coach) Rahul Dravid has a philosophy, and we have followed that in his absence," Kotak said.
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