India B 283 for 7 (Jadhav 86, Jaiswal 54, Vijay Shankar 45, Gowtham 35*, Porel 5-43) beat India C 232 for 9 (Garg 74, Axar 38, Saxena 37*, Nadeem 4-32, Siraj 2-43) by 51 runs
It was the best pitch of the competition, not as bat-first-win-game as the previous fixtures, but a six-and-a-half-over spell early on in India C's chase of India B's 283 for 7, in which they lost four wickets, put paid to their chances of winning the Deodhar Trophy 2019-20 final in Ranchi.
India C managed to bat out their overs despite sinking to 77 for 5 in 18 overs - Mayank Agarwal, Virat Singh, Suryakumar Yadav and Dinesh Karthik the batsmen dismissed in that phase - but were always behind the eight-ball, never quite looking like they would pull off an unexpected win with their tail-enders in charge of doing the job with the bat.
Priyam Garg, the 18-year-old batsman, did his bit, seeing out the collapse and batting on till the 30th over for an impressive 74 in 77 balls, with eight fours and a six, but he fell swinging wildly at a Mohammed Siraj delivery that hit leg stump. And then it was over to Axar Patel and Jalaj Saxena, who scored 30s, and Mayank Markande, who played an enterprising innings of 27, to delay the inevitable.
That the chase went off the rails despite Agarwal and Garg adding 54 runs for the second wicket after captain Shubman Gill fell in the second over to Siraj was chiefly down to Shahbaz Nadeem. Agarwal hit Nadeem straight to K Gowtham at cover to fall for 28, and Nadeem then accounted for Yadav (bowled with an arm ball) and Karthik (lbw to another arm ball), while Virat was run out going for a non-existent second run.
It looked like India C were in the hunt, albeit briefly, while Garg and Axar were out there together, adding 63 for the sixth wicket. But it really was only a matter of time before something gave, and that came in the form of Garg's swing against Siraj. Axar was later run out in unfortunate circumstances when a Saxena drive brushed the fingers of Nitish Rana, the bowler, and hit the stumps at the non-striker's end with his bat on the crease. Saxena and Markande hung around, but the game was well over by that stage.
The first half of the match was about a number of good performances with the bat and one excellent show with the ball.
Porel set the ball rolling in the first over after Parthiv Patel won the toss and expectedly opted to bat, getting Ruturaj Gaekwad to edge one to Suryakumar Yadav at first slip to leave for a duck. Porel could have sent Parthiv back in his next over, but the edge flew towards first slip, Karthik flew across, and it went down.
Porel got his man in the ninth over of the innings, though, when he got the ball to angle across Patel and catch the outside edge for Karthik to pull off a sharp diving catch. That left India B at 28 for 2.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and B Aparajith, however, put up stiff resistance in their third-wicket partnership. Jaiswal was particularly impressive, playing some eye-catching drives, cuts and pulls, while Aparajith was more cautious, and the two added 45 runs before Saxena, with nine wickets in two games prior to this one, sent Aparajith back when he missed a full toss to be struck in front.
Jaiswal's half-century came up soon after, but he couldn't build on it, falling in the 25th over when he failed to keep a sweep off Axar down and holed out to Porel at deep fine-leg, his 54 coming from 79 balls with five fours and a six.
Jadhav took charge after that. Rana was just a bystander as the senior pro took on, and took apart, most of the India C bowlers, taking a special liking to Markande, whom he hit for all his four sixes in the innings, giving the young legspinner unflattering figures of 10-0-79-0.
Porel returned to put the brakes on with Rana's wicket, for 20 off 28 balls, but that brought Vijay Shankar to the middle, and between them, Jadhav and Vijay slammed 74 runs in the 9.2 overs they were together. While Jadhav continued to be enterprising, Vijay was positively ruthless, hitting four fours and two sixes in his 33-ball 45 before Porel was back in action, getting him to hit down to long-on.
The show wasn't over, though, as Gowtham walked in and smashed three fours and three sixes in his ten-ball innings, scoring 35 runs to well and truly put India B in the driver's seat going into the break even as Jadhav's innings ended in the final over, with Porel getting him to top-edge a pull to mid-off. Jadhav's 86 came off 94 balls, with four fours and four sixes.