Gurkeerat stars as Ind A upstage Aus A in tri-series final
Gurkeerat Singh produced a superb all-round show as India A stunned the much fancied Australia A y four wickets in the final to win the ODI cricket tri-series here today.
Chennai: Gurkeerat Singh produced a superb all-round show as India A stunned the much fancied Australia A y four wickets in the final to win the ODI cricket tri-series here today.
Set a target of 227 after a fine performance by their spinners, the Indian top-order made a mess of what seemed like an easy chase before Gurkeerat turned the tide in the hosts' favour with his unbeaten knock of 87.
Coming into the match without a single win over the Australian unit in the series, the Indians did quite well to contain the rival batsmen, who were in stupendous form through the league stage.
However, the effort with the ball was not complemented by the top four of India's batting, who accounted for a mere 65 runs with in-form opener Mayank Agarwal's 29-ball 32 being the best among the quartet.
However, at five down for 108 runs, the lower-half came to India's rescue and Gurkeerat was the star performer. After returning figures of 2-41 with his off-spin bowling, Gurkeerat produced some magic with the bat as well to rescue the hosts from a precarious position.
His unbeaten knock came off 85 deliveries and included seven hits to the fence besides a couple of sixes, including the one which sealed the match for the side.
Gurkeerat was well-supported by Sanju Samson (24 off 42 deliveries) as the two steered the Unmukt Chand-led side to its first win against the Kangaroos in this series.
For the Australians, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar was the pick of the bowlers, taking two wickets in his 10 overs which cost 39 runs.
Earlier, opting to bat after winning the toss, Australia A started on a strong footing with their openers -- skipper Usman Khwaja (76) and Joe Burns (41) -- putting together an 82-run stand.
However, the Australia A innings began to unravel after Burns was caught by Gurkeerat off his own bowling. The right-hander returned to the pavilion after facing 46 deliveries -- five of which he smacked for fours.
The middle-order let Australia down badly today with Callum Ferguson's 21 off 41 balls being the best contribution.
The Indian bowlers, for once, struck in unison and shared the spoils almost equally.
Leg-spinner Karn Sharma returned the best figures of the day grabbing three wickets in his 10 overs after conceding a mere 37 runs.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel and Gurkeerat walked away with two wickets apiece as Australian batsmen struggled for the first time in the series.
This was the second time India A beat Australia A in a tri-series final after a 2013 tournament.
South Africa A was the third team in the tournament and was knocked out after failing to win a single match.