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India A tie with England A, enter tri-series final

England: Abhinav Mukund`s fluent hundred was the highlight of their thrilling chase as India A scrambled to a high-scoring tie against England A to book a berth in the finals of the ongoing one-day tri-series.

After Ian Bell led England A to a mammoth 343 for eight, India A managed to end level with the hosts courtesy a last-ball bye to enter the finals of the tournament from which the third team - West Indies A - has already crashed out.

The Indians will now be up against the Englishmen again in the summit clash on Thursday.

Shikhar Dhawan provided some early momentum by striking eight powerful boundaries, but the chase was anchored by his fellow opener Abhinav Mukund.

The left-hander, who has scored a triple-century in first-class cricket, gave his side a chance of an unlikely win with a 120-ball 114 which included 12 fours.

However, England Lions looked favourites for a fourth straight win when Ravi Bopara bowled him for 114 to leave India A requiring 94 runs from 69 balls with six wickets in hand.

Losing Abhinav did little to deter the Indian last-oder, however, with Manoj Tiwary (46) and Wriddhiman Saha (36) hitting crucial boundaries to keep the required run-rate in check.

Liam Plunkett did his best to stifle the flow of runs by removing Tiwary, Manish Pandey (17) and Jaskaran Singh (6) in quick succession to finish with excellent figures of 4-58.

The quick loss of wickets meant India A required 12 off the final over to be bowled by Bopara.

The all-rounder conceded just five off three balls but Iqbal Abdulla blasted a boundary through midwicket to make three runs from two balls.

There was more drama when Bopara ran out Abdulla, chasing down a mistimed shot to throw to wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

With two runs to win, Bopara bowled a yorker to Abhimanyu Mithun but the ball slipped through Davies` reach allowing the jubilant Indians take a bye and level the scores off the last delivery.

Earlier in the day Bell`s elegant 158, his highest one-day score, put England Lions into a position of authority helped by Darren Stevens (64) and Davies (54).

For the Indians, Jaskaran Singh and Iqbal Abdulla picked up a couple of wickets each.

PTI

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