Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar bagged a five-wicket haul and Chris Lynn scored 63 to steer the Australia A side to a comfortable three-wicket win over India A and enter the final of the 50-over tri-series match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday.
Choosing to bat, India A posted 258 runs as Agar recorded match-winning figures of five wickets for 39 runs. In reply, the visitors overhauled the target with ease, scoring 262/7 in 48.3 overs as Callum Ferguson and James Pattinson remained unbeaten on 45 and 0 respectively.
With the win, Australia A went to the top of the table with 14 points, winning all three matches played, while India are in the second spot with five points, winning one out of three. South Africa A are yet to register a win out of two matches played.
India began the day on a poor note as they lost skipper Unmukt Chand (5) in the seventh over. But opener Mayank Agarwal (61) and Manish Pandey (50) held on to take the score close to the 100-run mark. However, the dismissals of Agarwal in the 19th over proved costly as incoming batsman Kedar Jadhav also fell without troubling the scorers, reducing India to 98/3 in the 19th over.
Contributions from middle and lower order batsmen Karun Nair (32), Sanju Samson (23), Axar Patel (20) and Rishi Dhawan (26 not out) helped the team cross the 250-run mark.
Spinner Agar and right-arm medium pacer Gurinder Sandhu (2-66) were the pick of Australia A bowlers.
Australia openers Usman Khawaja (18) and Travis Head (45) got off to a flying start, scoring at a run rate of more than six in the first seven overs. But the ninth over brought some respite for India A as Dhawan claimed the wicket of skipper Khawaja.
Head was also dismissed in space of six overs but Lynn struck a fluent 63 off 61 balls to make the task easier for the visitors in the death overs.
After the dismissal of Lynn in the 28th over, two quick wickets of Mathew Wade and Agar brought the hosts back into the game. Australia A were 178/6 in 34.3 overs.
A brilliant 80-run partnership between Ferguson and Adam Zampa (54) helped Australia overhaul the target with ease.
For India, spinner Karn Sharma (3-45) was the pick of the bowlers.