Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
India C 296 for 4 (Gill 106*, Kishan 69, Suryakumar 56*, Ashwin 1-46) beat India A 293 for 6 (Easwaran 69, Rana 68, Vijay 3-40) by six wickets
Shubman Gill has dazzled in the IPL, but for those of the more conventional disposition, he made a big statement with his first List A hundred in a chase. From 85 for 3, India C mounted the first successful chase of this Deodhar Trophy, sealing their berth in the final against the undefeated India B. All three matches have been played at Feroz Shah Kotla, but this pitch played better than the previous two where the chasing teams managed only 218 and 201. Gill, though, shepherded this chase of 294 with the first hundred of the tournament.
Gill was supported by wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. What will impress the three national selectors in attendance is that there was a lot of sensible batting to go with impressive stroke-play. Going by the trend in this tournament, and with Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina both gone, India C seemed out of the contest chasing the biggest total of the tournament.
Pretty early on in the chase, Gill settled down to bat through, and Kishan assumed the role of the enforcer. Kishan has shown in the past he can innovate and hit against slower bowlers. He hit international bowlers Mohammed Siraj and R Ashwin for two boundaries in an over. His strike rate was under 100 only against Ashwin and Nitish Rana. In between, Gill tonked Ashwin and Shams Mulani for a six each.
International teams might also want to look at the tapes of this chase as a tutorial on how to face Kedar Jadhav, who was making his comeback from his latest hamstring injury. They played the full balls straight - Kishan even drove one back past him for four - and waited for the short ball. Suryakumar was the most severe on Jadhav, hitting a short, low-bouncing ball for an inside-out six over extra cover.
By this time, Gill and Suryakumar had sailed through the slightly nervous period after Kishan's dismissal for a 60-ball 69. Now Gill, too, began to show off, hitting a slower bouncer from Dhawal Kulkarni over wide mid-off. Suryakumar responded with two sixes in empty stands, which slowed down the progress of the match. Suryakumar's power hitting again was from a chasing template: the top order brings you to the 35th over with the asking rate in control, and then the big hitter kills the contest.
Gill brought up his hundred with just 12 runs required, and then finished the game off with a boundary off the last ball of the 47th over.