India ‘A’ crushes New Zealand ‘A’ by 106 runs in third ODI to take Series 3-0

Shardul Thakur’s blazing 33-ball 51 was well complemented by debutant Raj Angad Bawa’s fine bowling show (4/11) as India ‘A’ crushed New Zealand ‘A’ by 106 runs in the third and final unofficial ODI to win the series 3 . 0 in Chennai on Tuesday. Captain Sanju Samson (54 off 68 balls) and Tilak Varma (50 off 62 balls) also scored half a century after India chose to bat, but it was Thakur’s blitzkrieg in the order that took the home side to 284 all-out in 49.3 overs.

Thakur hit four boundaries and three sixes on his 33-ball entertaining knock.

In the hunt for 285 for a win, the visitors were bowled out for 178 in 38.3 overs, despite good starts from openers Chad Bowes (20) and Dane Cleaver (83 from 89 balls).

The 19-year-old Bawa, who starred in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, moved through the middle and lower ranks of New Zealand’s ‘A’ batting lineup with a four wicket-haul.

The young all-rounder took three of the last four NZ ‘A’ wickets and fell for fine numbers of 4 for 11 to finish as the best Indian bowler.

Earlier, Abhimanyu Easwaran (39 from 35 balls), instead of Prithvi Shaw, brought in the playing XI and Rahul Tripathi got off to a fast start. The duo added 55 runs in 8.5 overs.

Easwaran hit two borders to signal his intent, while Tripathi slammed to the border with square feet.

Against the course of the game, Easwaran grabbed one for Matthew Fisher’s keeper.

Coming in at number 3, Samson saw Tripathi (18) fall with the score at 65. The captain joined forces with the talented Tilak Varma to put together an impressive stand.

Varma, who had impressed many with his pass for Mumbai Indians in this year’s IPL, took off with a long-range six from the second delivery he saw.

The two scored solidly, adding 99 runs in 106 balls, without hesitating to take to the air. Varma fell on Rachin Ravindra’s left arm for an impressive 50.

KS Bharat, who played his first game of the three-game streak, did not last long, sacked by Fisher for 9.

Samson looked good for a big score before falling LBW to Jacob Duffy with an average speed for a 68-ball 54 (1 four, 2 sixes). Bawa fell to the same bowler for 5 and India ‘A’ slipped to 206 for 6.

Thakur, who batted with confidence in the second match, came with a blazing 33-ball 51 and his furious attack left the NZ ‘A’ bowlers clueless. His aggressive knock helped the host to a challenging total of 284.

The visiting side’s opener Cleaver struck in an enterprising fashion and started the chase, but lack of support from the other side meant the challenge fell flat.

Except for the half-century partnership for the first wicket, the rest of the batters failed to raise for the occasion.

Leg spinner Rahul Chahar (2/39) struck out the first strike, sweeping Bowes into a catch in the deep end.

Ravindra, who shone in the previous game, only made two and became Chahar’s second victim.

Cleaver, meanwhile, continued to take the points, but the Kiwis continued to lose wickets at regular intervals.

Tripathi, who bowled at a medium pace, also got a wicket and sacked NZ ‘A’ captain Tom Bruce for 10.

Michael Rippon (29) helped Cleaver add 31 runs from 24 balls before the last fell to Rishi Dhawan (1/27).

Left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who took a hat-trick in the second match, took two wickets, including that of Robert O’Donnell (6).

From 175 for 6, the NZ ‘A’ innings quickly folded as Bawa took the wickets from Rippon, Duffy (1) and Fisher (0).

Short Scores: India ‘A’ 284 all-out in 49.3 overs (Sanju Samson 54, Shardul Thakur 51, Tilak Varma 50, Michael Rippon 2/43, Jacob Duffy 2/45) defeated New Zealand ‘A’ 178 all -out in 38.3 overs (Dane Cleaver 83, Raj Angad Bawa 4/11, Kuldeep Yadav 2/29, Rahul Chahar 2/39).

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