Yuvraj, Sharma star as India 'A' thrash West Indies ‘A’

One-off Twenty20: The Indian team cruised to a massive 93-run win over a wayward West Indies 'A' at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Bangalore: It was one-way traffic at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday as India ‘A’, before an expectant weekend crowd, outclassed West Indies ‘A’ by 93 runs in a one-off Twenty20 game. The margin of victory made for a poor match. But there was much on offer that the masses had come looking for: big hits, dropped catches, a bizarre over and, eventually, an Indian win.

Batting first, the home team posted a piddle-inducing 214/7 in 20 overs as Yuvraj Singh (52), Unmukt Chand (47) and Kedhar Jadhav (42) left the bowling side punch-drunk and battered.

The West Indian chase caved in under the weight of runs. Only opener Andre Fletcher (32) kept them in reckoning for the first five overs, before the pressure of a tough pursuit manifested as total collapse. The visitors folded for 121 in 16.2 overs, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma cashing in with five wickets, not all the product of good bowling.

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Vengeful mood

Having lost the ‘ODI’ series, the Indians began in a vengeful mood.

Unmukt, who was dropped twice, and fellow opener Robin Uthappa, who walloped three sixes in his 35, tore off the blocks. The inning fifty came up in just 3.5 overs and 70 were on the board after the first Powerplay.

Uthappa’s entrapment by Veersammy Permaul caused a raucous cheer to roll through the stands. But the object of this adulation, Yuvraj, began tentatively, playing a queer second fiddle, first to Unmukt and then to Jadhav.

Finally caught

Unmukt was finally caught in the deep by Kirk Edwards running backwards and Baba Aparajith, who had played so well for his 78 in the final ‘ODI’, gave Edwards his second catch when he flicked off-spinner Ashley Nurse straight to the fielder.

There was, however, no let up in scoring. The 100 came up in the 11th over, thanks to Jadhav, who clubbed four fours and two sixes in his 21-ball stay. Yuvraj, meanwhile, had treaded to 25 off the first 24 balls he faced.

It was when the southpaw got going that West Indies’ fielding fell right off the rails. Yuvraj whipped two massive sixes off Russell as the 150 came up in the 16th over, and reached his half-century in 33 balls with another monster strike against medium-pacer Ronsford Beaton.

Hat-trick

A bizarre over, the 19th, followed, India tripping from 189/3 to 189/7 in four Russell deliveries, the bowler completing the least celebrated of hat-tricks in history as all the four dismissed - Jadhav, Yuvraj, Naman Ojha and Yusuf Pathan – were caught going for the big shot.

Considering the extent of earlier damage inflicted, the jolt mattered very little. India were already on the scent of a big total, the Windies already wounded in the psyche.

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