India A thump NPS for bonus-point win
India A 7 for 304 (Nair 72, Samson 54, O'Donnell 2-46) beat National Performance Squad 218 (Cartwright 65, Heazlett 60, Kulkarni 3-38, Unadkat 3-43) by 86 runs
India A surged to the top of the points table in the Quadrangular A team one day series with a bonus-point, 86-run win over the National Performance Squad (NPS) in Townsville on Sunday. Karun Nair and Sanju Samson scored 72 and 54 respectively to help India A post a formidable 7 for 304, the highest team total of the tournament so far, after which India A's bowlers bundled NPS out for 218 in 46 overs. The pace pair of Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni took three wickets each.
India A had raced off to 27 in the first three overs, after being put in to bat by NPS. They lost opener Faiz Fazal to left-arm seamer Tom O'Donnell in the fourth over. Nair, who opened the innings, anchored India with an 85-ball 72, which included seven fours, while at No. 6, Samson took charge towards the slog overs, striking 54 off 42 balls with three fours and as many sixes. Bookended between the two fifties, were contributions from Shreyas Iyer (45), Manish Pandey (31) and Kedar Jadhav (45) that ensured India kept up a healthy scoring rate in the middle overs.
After the early loss of Caleb Jewell, the NPS chase stabilised through a 108-run partnership for the second wicket between the in-form Hilton Cartwright and Sam Heazlett. Cartwright's 65 was his second successive fifty, while Heazlett maintained his place at the top of the tournament's run charts with 60. Both batsmen were dismissed in the space of four overs and the NPS chase fell apart after that, as the team lost their last seven wickets for 62 runs.
This was the first defeat of the series for NPS, and the action now moves from Townsville to Mackay.