Australia A v India A, Tri-series final, Pretoria August 14, 2013

India A take title with resounding win

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India A 243 (Karthik 73, Hazlewood 3-31, Coulter-Nile 3-35) beat Australia A 193 (Paine 47, Nadeem 3-34) by 50 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was only a shade over half of what they showed they were capable of - 243 instead of 433 - but India A's bowlers defended it to win the tri-series. In doing so, they bowled Australia A out for the lowest total of the week-long tournament, which has been played at a small ground on flat pitches and was, until today, a struggle for the bowlers.

Australia A's attack showed what discipline could do as they reined in India A from 141 for 2 after 23 overs to 243 all out. Through tight lines and fairly full lengths, they ensured India A only posted two partnerships higher than 20. Their last five wickets fell for 14 runs as they recorded the third-lowest total of the tournament.

Through a display of inept stroke-making and poor shot selection, Australia A's line-up did themselves no favours on a surface that finally showed a few sparks of life. India A's quicks were able to extract slight extra bounce but it was not a strip that justified Australia A's dismal showing in what should have been the event's climax.

Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch seemed determine to polish off the total in quick time. Marsh drove Mohammed Shami powerfully for four while Finch charged Suresh Raina, who opened the bowling, for a six and then a four in successive overs.

The big hitting soon cost them. Finch tried to heave Shami down the ground but missed, and the ball found its way into the massive gap between bat and pad to bowl him. Shami got Marsh out to a similar shot - the batsman tried to pull him over mid-on but found Cheteshwar Pujara instead.

Despite being two down early on, the Australian approach did not change. Glenn Maxwell took on Ishwar Pandey and enjoyed fleeting success before pulling off Raina and falling in a manner similar to Marsh. At 50 for 3, Australia A needed consolidation but India sensed opportunity.

When Nic Maddinson got a healthy edge off Pandey, Raina leapt up at slip to pluck the ball out of the sky. And when Mitchell Marsh went too far down from the non-striker's end after thinking of a sneaky single, Rohit Sharma was quick to get to the ball and ran him out. At 53 for 5, the only thing left for Australia A was to find a dignified way to end their challenge.

They were in danger of missing out on that ending when Moises Henriques and Nathan Coulter-Nile both fell to Shahbaz Nadeem, the former edging to Raina, the latter being stumped by some distance. But Tim Paine and Josh Hazlewood batted manfully in an eight-wicket stand of 54 before Hazlewood became Nadeem's third victim. Wriddhiman Saha showed quick reflexes to pull off a second stumping in a match where his keeping stood out for its efficiency.

Paine quietly approached a half-century but was bowled for 47 in the 45th over. Although Australia's lower order already had too much to do, with him out, they simply marked time to the end.

Earlier, India lost A Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara early on but man-of-the-moment Shikhar Dhawan was on hand to take control. He drove the first ball he faced for four, was strong down the ground and dispatched anything pitched up. In a bid to stem the flow, Australia A resorted to a short-ball barrage but Dinesh Karthik's pull shot was up to the task.

The pair put on 108 runs for the third wicket and kept India A's run-rate above six an over to sound a warning that a big total could be on the cards again. Australia A hauled them in after Dhawan reached for a Henriques delivery and was caught behind in the 24th over. Kartik was bowled by Nathan Coluter-Nile in the 29th over and Suresh Raina was dismissed cheaply three overs later.

Ambati Rayudu, who edged a couple of times before settling in, and Wriddiman Saha rebuilt slowly. They did not find the boundary for 36 balls between the 36th and 42nd over, which slowed India A down, and Rayudu was bowled as he tried to accelerate, heaving and missing against a straight Hazlewood ball.

Saha drove with confidence but when he tried to go aerial, he looped one to Maxwell at point to leave the lower order in charge of the final five-over surge.

Hazlewood and Coulter-Nile did not give India A's lower order much opportunity to score and took four wickets, including Saha in that time. They bowled full and straight to limit scoring. India A posted just 12 runs in the last 4.2 overs and their total appeared below-par but eventually, it turned out to be more than enough.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @Junaid Dawjee,can u explain how India has first side whereas Aus has second string team?Aus has players like Marsh brothers,Finch,Maxwell,Henriques,Paine who already played for Aus and few are regulars in Aus team..

  • Roshan_P on August 16, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    I wouldn't give so much credit to the batting unit - as it is literally the actual Indian team's batting unit with the exception of Kohli (are you even allowed to do that?) - but the bowlers have done brilliantly. Well done India, and commiserations Australia who showed that their youngsters do actually have talent. Future Ashes winners????

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 16, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Congrats to India A. Well done. Funny to see some people who laughed at Indian youngsters hiding now when it is the time to appreciate them.

  • Srini_Indian on August 15, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    @SandipManjrekar: Read @dineshkarthikfan's comment to know the complete story of DK's performance in last 4 series. If you use the same yardstick to measure Rohit as you do for DK here, Rohit would be out of the team long before. Remember last SL series in which RS played a whole series and haven't scored more than 5 in any ODI. If you wanna talk about Mukund, then what about Powar, Nayar and countless others who wouldn't get into any other country's domestic teams? I hope both RS and DK do well for many more years to come. Please don't show any regional bias.

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 15, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Agree with @Jitu_Zadokar - BCCI and the Selectors deserve credit for arranging this tour. This kind of tournaments are good for testing our fringe players. Finally, credit should go to Captain Pujara for giving a chance to everybody, including the second wicket keeper Saha. If Kohli was the captain, he would have played the same 11 players in all matches - he is so scared of losing.

  • vsroc on August 15, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Our young boys of India 'A'once again rose to the occasion to defend their decent total of 243 and attained victory in a fine style.Full credit to our boys for their spirited display in foreign soil.

  • android_user on August 15, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    India , 66inpendence gift.

  • bbnn on August 15, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @Mjrvasu, there are two teams selected for these matches

  • dummy4fb on August 15, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Nothing much to get excited about. The India first team lost two out of three games to a second string aussie line-up. As for complaints about flat pitches - its a one-day series and even SA dont play one-day cricket on green seamers. Given the current selection policy, India are sure to dominate one-day cricket for years to come. Tests though remain a different story.

  • captaincool on August 15, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Though I am a big supporter of 'A' tours but this type of tour does very little to enhance the skills of the players. The idea was to get Indian fringe players and test hopefuls to be familiar with South African conditions but they got pitches which were even more flatter than the sub continent pitches. At least they should have been exposed to different conditions especially when there are two Test grounds of South Africa Johannesburg and Centurion are not very from this ground. Rather, they were made to play in the same docile track every match.