Port of Spain (Trinidad): Pacer Ashok Dinda struck when it mattered the most as India ‘A’ drew the two-match Twenty20 series against the West Indies ‘A’ by winning the second and final game in the one-over eliminator.
After being put into bat by the hosts, the Indians put on a competitive 154 on board but the Caribbeans managed to tie the match which was ultimately decided by the one-over Eliminator in which run-outs by Dinda proved decisive.
West Indies ‘A’ made four runs in five balls in the Eliminator which India ‘A’ chased down comfortably, making seven runs in 3 balls — including a couple of wides conceded by Suleiman Benn.
With this victory, the visitors drew the two-match series after losing the opening game by three wickets on Saturday.
It was a rather steady start for India, a team which struggled to get a decent opening partnership going for most part of the tour.
Shikhar Dhawan (33) and Ajinkya Rahane (79) put on 61 runs for the opening wickets before the former became Garey Mathurin’s only victim of the game by holing out to Kieran Powell.
His departure led to an all too familiar batting collapse with Rahane struggling to get a steady partner at the other end.
The Mumbai youngster knock came off 63 deliveries and was studded with four boundaries and a couple of sixes. India were eventually restricted to 154 for five in their 20 overs after yet another middle-order flopshow.
Chasing the challenging target, the West Indians were also off to a good start as Nkrumah Bonner (82) and Kieran Powell stitched together a 72-run opening stand.
Off the two, Powell was the first to depart when he was run out by the combined effort of Rohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar after striking a couple of fours and a six in his 27-ball cameo.
The hosts also endured a middle-order collapse but Bonner’s steady knock, which was an effective mix of caution and aggression, ensured that the side managed to tie the scores.
Bonner faced 65 balls and sent down four boundaries and two sixes in an entertaining innings.
With scores levelled, it was left to a nerve-wrecking Eliminator over in which Dinda, who was the economical Indian bowler with figures of 1/23 in his four overs, worked his magic.
The Caribbeans seemed to have lost their nerve as Jonathan Carter and Bonner found themselves short of crease — both run-outs effected by Dinda.
Having to chase just four runs, the Indians lost Rohit Sharma off the very first ball but helped by a couple of wides by Benn and a boundary by Dhawan, the visitors made it comfortably to tie the series.