Rayudu, Siraj set up easy win for India A

India A pulled through a few nervous moments before cruising to a five-wicket victory against Australia A in its opening match of the Quadrangular Series one-day tournament.

Ambati Rayudu scored an unbeaten 62 in India A's five-wicket win.   -  Sudhakara Jain

India A pulled through a few nervous moments before cruising to a five-wicket victory against Australia A in its opening match of the Quadrangular Series one-day tournament, at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.

Pacer Mohammed Siraj (four for 68) and off-spinner K. Gowtham (three for 31) helped the host bowl Australia-A out for just 151 in 31.4 overs. In reply, India A stuttered to 29 for four, before Ambati Rayudu (62 n.o., 107b, 5x4, 1x6) and Krunal Pandya (49, 66b, 4x4) saw the team past the finish line.

Siraj, who had a great run in India A’s recent first-class fixtures, continued his wicket-taking spree. He kept a good line outside off-stump, which resulted in three edges taken behind the stumps. Gowtham kept things tight at the other end, even as the Australian batsmen seemed overly keen to hit him out of the attack.

Peter Handscomb, who has featured in 13 Tests and 8 ODIs, charged at Gowtham and paid the price. The bowler spotted Handscomb’s intentions, and dragged the ball wide. Wicket-keeper Sanju Samson effected a smart stumping down the leg-side.

Skipper Travis Head (28, 38b, 5x4), another established player, advanced down the track only for the ball to sneak under the bat and onto the stumps. Matt Renshaw (7, 16b) was Gowtham’s third victim, trapped leg-before after failing to connect with a sweep. Renshaw’s ouster left Australia A at 76 for five, and the visitor could not recover. For a side packed with quality batters, it was a surprisingly meek collapse.

India A opening batsman R. Samarth was taken out by a brilliant catch by Michael Neser for 4. Fast bowler Jhye Richardson then got Samson to drag the very next delivery onto his stumps. Suryakumar Yadav and captain Shreyas Iyer returned to the hut without making an impression, leaving India A in a tight spot. A steady 109-run fifth-wicket partnership between Krunal and Rayudu then pulled India A out of trouble.

Meanwhile, at the Alur grounds, an unbeaten 95 from Manish Pandey helped India B power past South Africa A by 30 runs, via the Duckworth–Lewis (D/L) method.

After electing to field, India B speedster Prasidh Krishna (four for 49) and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal (three for 42) came good. Senuran Muthuswamy (55, 73b) and Farhaan Behardien (43, 57b) put on 104 runs for the fifth wicket, and took South Africa A to 231. The chase, hampered by rain, was led brilliantly by skipper Manish. The Karnataka batsman whipped nine fours and a six in his 105-ball 95. He was ably supported by opener Shubman Gill, who hit a 46-ball 42.

Brief scores:

Australia A 151 in 31.4 overs (Ashton Agar 34, Travis Head 28, Mohammed Siraj four for 68, K. Gowtham three for 31) lost to India A 152 for five in 38.3 overs (Ambati Rayudu 62 n.o., Krunal Pandya 49, Jhye Richardson three for 27) by 5 wickets.

South Africa A 231 in 47.3 overs (Senuran Muthuswamy 55, Farhaan Behardien 43, G. Cloete 25, Malusi Siboto 26, Dane Paterson 25, Prasidh Krishna four for 49, Shreyas Gopal three for 42) lost to India B 215 for five in 40.3 overs (Manish Pandey 95 n.o., Shubman Gill 42) by 30 runs via D/L method.

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