Pak 'A' shock India 'A', win EurAsia Cup
India 'A', who had won 4 matches on the trot before final, failed to measure up in the title clash as Pak 'A' walked away with the $25,000 prize money.india Updated: May 06, 2006 11:54 IST
The only unbeaten team in the league phase, India 'A' succumbed to Pakistan 'A' by 36 runs in the final of the EurAsia Circket Series on Friday.
India 'A', who had won four matches on the trot before the final, failed to measure up in the title clash and Pakistan 'A' walked away with the $25,000 prize money in the day-night encounter at a packed Sheikh Zayed Stadium. India 'A' had to settle for $15,000.
Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan 'A' posted 288 for four wickets in the allotted 50 overs, thanks to an unbeaten century from captain Hasan Raza (106 not out, 112 balls, 8x4s, 1x6) and Misbah-ul-Haq's superb 73 (94 balls, 4x4s, 1x6).
In reply, India 'A' had a decent start but lost their way in the middle to be all out for 252 in 47.5 overs in this six-nation tournament organised to give exposure to the non-Test playing nations.
India 'A' had won all their four league matches while Pakistan 'A' lost only one-to the Venugopal Rao-led Indian side. The law of averages caught up with India 'A' at the most crucial juncture, in the final, but it was the manner in which they caved in was quite baffling.
Chasing the huge total, Robin Uthappa (23) and Shikhar Dhawan (17) gave India a start of 41 and by 42 both had returned to the pavilion.
Then came the 147-run third wicket partnership between Reetinder Singh Sodhi (70, 83 balls, 4x4s, 2x6s) and Rao (69, 99 balls, 4x4s, 1x6) that kept India in the hunt.
But within four runs of each other, both Sodhi and Rao departed to leave India reeling at 192 for four in the 40th over.
As it turned out, India 'A' never recovered from those two twin blows and, thereafter, wickets fell at regular intervals as Pakistan 'A' stepped up the gas.
Pakistan's fielding and catching was top class and they became more aggressive after Taufeeq Umar took a stunningly well-judged catch off Mansoor Amjad to get rid of Rohit Sharma. While taking the catch bending backwards, Umar clashed with Bazid Khan who had to leave the field after his head banged against the turf.
Mansoor Amjad was the most successful bowler with four wickets and Umar Gul captured three. Yasir Arafat chipped in with two scalps.
Earlier, Raza and Misbah were involved in a 174-run stand for the fourth wicket to help Pakistan recover from three early blows.
After Reetinder Singh Sodhi struck the first blow to remove opner Mohammed Hafeez, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla dismissed Test discard Taufeeq Umar and Shahid Yousuf to reduce Pakistan to 88 for three in the 15th over.
But Raza, who has played seven Tests and 16 one-day internationals, and Misbah, who has played five Tests and 12 one-dayers, joined hands to repair the damage.
They sincerely got down to work and take Pakistan out of the woods.
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla picked up two wickets.
Final: India 'A' vs. Pakistan 'A', (day/night), EurAsia Cricket Series, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, May 5
Mohammad Hafeez c Karthik b Sodhi 19, Taufeeq Umar st Karthik b Chawla 40, Shahid Yousuf c Uthappa b Chawla 23, Hasan Raza not out 106, Misbah-ul-Haq run out (Karthik) 73, Bazid Khan not out 11.
Extras: (leg byes 8, wides 6, no
balls 2) 16
Total: (for four wickets in 50 overs) 288
Fall of wickets: 1-46 (Hafeez, 7.1 overs), 2-85 (Umar, 14.2), 3-88 (Yousuf, 14.6), 4-262 (Misbah, 48.1).
Rudra Pratap Singh 10 0 60 0 (1w)
Vikram Raj Vir Singh 9 0 77 0 (1nb, 2w)
Reetinder Singh Sodhi 10 1 39 1 (1nb, 1w)
Piyush Chawla 10 0 41 2 (2w) Ravinder Jadeja 9 0 47 0
Y. Venugopal Rao 2 0 16 0.
Robin Uthappa c Bazid b Gul 23,
Shikhar Dhawan c Bazid b Samiullah 17, Reetinder S. Sodhi c Zulqarnain b Amjad 70, Y. Venugopal Rao st Zulqarnain b Amjad 69, Dinesh Karthik b Arafat 11, Rohit Sharma c Umar b Amjad 14, S. Badrinath c Yousuf b Arafat 5, Piyush Chawla c Gul b Amjad 1, Vikram Raj Vir Singh c Raza b Gul 8, Ravinder Jadeja not out 5, R.P. Singh c Arafat b Gul 4.
Extras: (b 1, lb 3, w 18, nb 3) 25
Total: (all out in 47.5 overs) 252
Fall of wickets: 1-41 (Uthappa, 9.3 overs), 2-42 (Dhawan, 10.2), 3-189 (Rao, 39.3), 4-192 (Sodhi, 39.6), 5-212 (Sharma, 41.6), 6-219 (Karthik, 42.5), 7-221 (Chawla, 43.1), 8-231 (Badrinath, 44.1), 9-240 (V.R.V. Singh, 45.4).
Samiullah Khan 9 1 43 1 (1w)
Umar Gul 9.5 0 37 3 (2w)
Yasir Arafat 9 0 49 2 (3nb, 3w)
Mansoor Amjad 10 0 68 4 (4w)
Mohammad Hafeez 10 0 51 0
Result: Pakistan 'A' won by 36 runs Toss: Pakistan 'A' Umpires: R. Martinesz (Sri Lanka) and S.S. Prasad (Singapore)
TV umpire: B.B. Pradhan (Nepal)
--Indo-Asian News Service