India A 220 for 4 (Jadhav 89) beat Pakistan A 209 for 7 (Misbah 89*, Amjad 48, Paul 3-33) by 6 wickets (D-L method)
Sairaj Bahutule led India A well - a victory over Pakistan is big in any level of the game © Wisden Cricinfo|
India A registered an easy six-wicket win over Pakistan A in the final of the triseries in Kenya even as the same two teams clashed in Amstelveen in the opening match of the Videocon Cup. Dheeraj Jadhav (89) led the way with a magnificent innings as India scored 220 for 4 with more than two overs to spare.
Gautam Gambhir (12), who has been in a rich vein of form, fell early, caught by Kamran Akmal off the bowling of Riaz Afridi (24 for 1). MS Dhoni, another cricketer scoring runs by the bucketful in this tournament, followed Gambhir to the pavilion soon after, giving Afridi his second wicket (44 for 2).
From then on there was little joy for Pakistan as Jadhav and Sridharan Sriram put on 115 for the third wicket, and took the game away. Sriram scored freely, striking 7 fours in 63-ball 60. When Sriram fell, caught and bowled by Naved Latif, India A had already reached 159 from 31.3 overs.
Jadhav, who faced 112 balls for his 89, and struck one six and seven fours in the process, fell even as India reached the doorstep of victory. In the 42nd over Jadhav succumbed to Rao Iftikhar Anjum with the score on 205. By then, though, an India A victory was a formality.
Earlier, a splendid unbeaten 89 from Misbah-ul-Haq lifted Pakistan A after a dismal start, and took them to a competitive 209 for 7 from 47 overs. In a match briefly interrupted by bad light - which caused three overs to be reduced from the innings - Pakistan A wobbled early, but consolidated in the middle overs and finished with a flourish to leave the match interestingly poised at the half-way stage. The interruption left India A chasing a revised target of 220 even though Pakistan A made only 209.
Misbah came to crease after both openers had gone with only 18 on the board, and when Bazid Khan and Faisal Iqbal left soon after, Pakistan A had slumped to 30 for 4 and were in danger of being bundled out for an embarrassingly low total. Misbah, however, led the recue act with his third successive half-century of the competition. He added 102 for the fifth wicket with Manzoor Amjad, who made a composed 48, while the lower order chipped in usefully too.
For India, the seamers made excellent use of helpful conditions, and fully justified Sairaj Bahutule's decision to field after winning the toss. Shib Sankar Paul and Amit Bhandari both got the ball to move off the seam, troubling all the top order batsmen, while Aavishkar Salvi, coming on first change, was at his niggardly best.
However, Pakistan A wrested the initiative against the spinners - Bahutule, Sriram and Ramesh Powar collectively went for 118 runs from 19 overs. Misbah was circumspect to start with, but then showed a full array of strokes, cheekily reverse-sweeping Sriram for consecutive fours, and then paddling the seamers to the fine-leg fence in the last few overs, as Pakistan A got to a total which seemed improbable at the half-way stage of their innings.