India A v India B, Challenger Trophy, Rajkot September 30, 2012

Pujara ton in vain in high-scoring thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 335 for 4 (Dhawan 152, Uthappa 67, Karthik 66) beat India B 331 for 5 (Pujara 158*, Anirudha 63, Awana 3-69) by four runs

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A low-scoring one-sided game on Saturday was followed by a high-scoring thriller in the Challenger Trophy in Rajkot. An unbeaten 158 by Cheteshwar Pujara, who kept India B in the hunt for their target of 336 through planned batting, went in vain as they lost by four runs. Racing to reach the target at the death, the duo of Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja needed 23 runs off 12 deliveries to pull off a win, but an economical seven-run penultimate over, including Jadeja's wicket, by the left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla pegged them back. The next over saw four singles off the first four deliveries, followed by a spilled chance by Ajinkya Rahane at deep midwicket that fell over the boundary for a six. But that didn't matter as Pujara could only drive the last delivery towards long-off for a single.

India B had started the chase well with the openers S Anirudha and Murali Vijay starting positively by going at nearly six per-over. After Vijay got out in the eighth over, Anirudha put on 80 runs with No. 3 Pujara, and ended up with seven boundaries and two sixes in his knock of 63. Pujara was guiding the chase well, combining with the middle order to effect crucial partnerships. Robin Bist, fresh from a century in the Irani Cup, scored 38, and Baba Aparajith and Ravindra Jadeja also gave him support to help India B get closer to the target. Towards the death, Pujara and Jadeja accelerated the scoring, adding 76 in seven overs but it wasn't enough to see them through. This knock was Pujara's second big score in two games - he had scored 78 in the Irani Cup.

Another player registered two big scores in two games. Shikhar Dhawan followed up his unbeaten 99 against Bengal with 152 to guide his team to 335 for 4. The opening stand with Robin Uthappa, who scored 67, laid the foundation for a tall score as the duo were separated when India A had scored 146 in the 27th over. Smartly, the batsmen utilized the platform by scoring heavily at the death, courtesy Dhawan, and Dinesh Karthik, who scored 66 off 40 deliveries. The two added 94 runs in nine overs to push India A way past the 300-run mark.

Parvinder Awana was the highest wicket-taker across both teams with three wickets, including two of India B's openers. Umesh Yadav and Abhimanyu Mithun bowled 11 overs each from either team, as per the new rules in domestic one-day matches which allow one bowler to bowl a maximum of 12 overs.

India B would have to come back fresh from the defeat to take on Bengal, who were comprehensively beaten by India A earlier, on Monday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on October 1, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    FUTURE INDIA - batting hopes lie with two batsman - Pujara and Kohli . The likes of Vijay, Dhawan, Mukund, Rahane can also be considered. While we look at the batting angle we forget completely about the bowlers. Where is our future bowlers ???? BCCI/NEW SELECTORS need to invest in this. We have to unearth players here. Some young pace bowlers in India should take up this challenge as there are VACANCIES in the team.

  • ADitya on October 1, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    @ Mozenrath, 1-2 bowlers can bowl 12 overs. New rule in domestic cricket.

    Yadav also bowled 11 overs.

  • ADitya on October 1, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Mithun bowled 11 overs in match, Means last over has to bowl by Ojha then India B has Chance to win.

    Dhawan is the opener india is searching for.

  • Aditya on October 1, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @ Mozenrath Tabaqi - Even Umesh Yadav bowled 11 (though Mithun was much better) - I think in this series it is okay if one bowler bowls 11 - no other rational explanation. Such run fests means these guys are playing on our traditional pitches. One does not expect green top at Rajkot, but at least there should be something in the pitch for the bowlers. This is what is turning wicket takers into mere containing bowlers.

  • Ankeet on October 1, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    In this series there are certain rules changes. One of them being that one bowler can bowl 12 overs if they wish to.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    And u did not see umesh yadav also bowled 11 overs ..

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    @ Mozenrath Tabaqi : as per new domestic rules, in 50 overs format, 1 bowler/side can bowl 12 overs also 2 bouncers/over allowed.

  • Senthil on October 1, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @Mozenrath Tabaqi. Umesh Yadav has also bowled 11 overs

  • Aravind on October 1, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @mozenrath. This year bcci has intoduced a new rule for ListA games. One bowler is allowd to bowl max 12 overs in a 50 over game. Ohers will stive have 10 overs. Ony one bowler can go over and bowl 12. This match u can see both mihun and uYadav bowled 11 overs. Also bowlers are allowd 2 bouncers per over. This again for this year only.

  • Krishna on October 1, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Pujara and Dhawan both are good prospects for Indian Cricket

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