Three wickets in five balls without a run snuffed the life out of India A’s against Australia A in the second match of the ODI Tri-series in Pretoria on Thursday. Set a target of 298 for eight in 50 overs, the Chesteshwar Pujara-led team finished at 291 for eight, losing their opener by seven runs.
The star-studded India A batting line-up needed 23 runs off 24 balls with six wickets in hand. Pace bowlers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Josh Hazzlewood, however, produced an inspired late burst to turn the game on its head. They removed Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu off successive balls, before Stuart Binny also fell. From 283 for four, India had slumped to 283 for seven.
With five overs left, India had needed 39 runs off 30 balls. And with Ambati Rayudu well-set on 51, they seemed the hold the advantage only to be upstaged by the Aussie bowlers at the death overs. Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 145 off 79 deliveries lifted Australia A from 152 for eight. For India, Rayudu (70 runs), opener Rohit Sharma (66) and Suresh Raina (83) led the scoring.
Brief Scores: Australia A 298/8 in 50 overs (G Maxwell 145 no)
India A 291/8 (S Raina 83, A Rayudu 70, Rohit 66, Coultier-Nile 3/37).