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Australia A 6 for 322 (Maddinson 118, Patterson 115, Thakur 2-50) beat India A 8 for 321 (Pandey 110, Samson 87, Worrall 2-57) by one run
Centuries from Nic Maddinson and Kurtis Patterson helped set up a thrilling one-run win for Australia A in a run fest in the Quadrangular series match against India A on Tuesday. Australia A defended a total of 322 by one run to climb to the top of the table and set up a clash in the final with India A, who had qualified earlier.
India A captain Manish Pandey's decision to field backfired quickly as Maddinson (118) and Patterson (115), who struck his maiden List A century, powered Australia A. Pandey fought valiantly through a century of his own, but his 110, the highest of his List A career, and half-centuries from Sanju Samson (87) and Mandeep Singh (56) were not enough as India A were kept to 321 for 8 after 50 overs, losing two wickets off the last two balls of the match.
India A got an early advantage after putting Australia A in, as Shardul Thakur trapped Marcus Stoinis lbw in the fifth over with just 16 on the board. That advantage was short-lived, however, as Patterson and Maddinson came together, and the fielding side had to wait another 35.1 overs for a breakthrough as they added 230 runs for the second wicket. The two fell within nine deliveries of each other, but by then, they had inflicted considerable damage. Patterson struck 16 fours in his 123-ball 115, while Maddinson's 118 came at just over a run a ball, helped by nine fours and four sixes.
India A did manage to make some late inroads after the duo's dismissal, but brief contributions from the middle order and Cameron Bancroft's unbeaten 14-ball 21 were enough to propel Australia A to a dominant position at the mid-innings interval.
Of the seven bowlers India A used, the pacers found most success, with Thakur taking 2 for 50 in eight over, while Jaydev Unadkat, Hardik Pandya and Varun Aaron accounted for a batsman each.
India A's chase had to be all about a strong start, and Mandeep and Shreyas Iyer managed to do that. They rebuilt the innings and took the side to 68 for 1 after the early loss of Faiz Fazal for 12. Stoinis then struck with his medium-pace and had Iyer caught for 13 to end a second-wicket stand of 43. Mandeep and Kedar Jadhav, the latter Man of the Match in India A's previous game, added 44 for the third wicket, but both perished in the space of four overs to Cameron Boyce's legspin. Jadhav's wicket left India A with an equation of 179 runs to get off 23 overs.
Pandey and Samson then turned the game on its head, adding 157 for the fifth wicket in just 118 balls. Pandey raised his century with a single at the end of the 44th over and India A went into the last five overs, needing 32 from 30 balls. Samson played an equally good supporting role in the partnership, bringing up his own fifty off 40 balls.
Towards the end of the innings, however, India A choked. Pandey fell first, edging right-arm pacer Daniel Worrall to the wicketkeeper in the 47th over. He had scored 110 off 91 balls with 10 fours and three sixes. Two balls later, Hardik Pandya was run out for 2. Samson brought the equation down to three off two deliveries but was dismissed off the penultimate ball, caught by Stoinis off Kane Richardson for a 74-ball 87 that was studded with six fours and two sixes. Thereafter, a run-out of Thakur while attempting a second run off the final ball of the innings took a tie out of the equation and gave Australia four points.
Australia's bowlers shared the wickets equally. Worrall and Boyce took two each, although the latter proved to be very expensive, conceding 71 in 10 overs. Richardson and Stoinis took a wicket each.