Bangalore: India A cruised to a massive 93-run win over a wayward West Indies A in the one-off T20 game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.
Batting first on winning the toss, the Indians did as they pleased to put up 214 for seven against an ordinary Windies attack that sent down as many as 15 wides. Facing a huge target, the Windies lost wickets in a hurry, though their runs came at a fair clip on a belter of a pitch and were bundled out for 121 in 16.2 overs with leg-spinner Rahul Sharma claiming five for 23.
After openers Robin Uthappa (35) and Unmukt Chand (42) smashed 74 runs in 6.4 overs, skipper Yuvraj Singh (52) and Kedar Jadhav (42) added a further 80 runs for the fourth wicket to put India on course to a big win.
The only bright spot for the Windies was seamer Andre Russell’s hat-trick when he took four wickets off his first four deliveries in the 19th over of the innings, but his heroics made little difference to the eventual outcome.
The Windies’ chase began well enough as Yusuf Pathan, bowling gentle off-breaks, was hit for 19 runs in the very first over, but the pressure to sustain the momentum told on the visitors whose batsmen perished attempting big shots.
The key wicket was that of opener Andre Fletcher (32) who fell to Sharma, bowled round the legs. Thereafter, it was just a matter of time before the Windies chase ended as Yuvraj and Sharma struck some telling blows.
The Indian innings was busy and hectic with runs flowing freely while the Caribbean bowlers erred in line and length, and proving to be a fodder.
Under the circumstances, Uthappa and Chand made merry, swinging their bats with abandon. So much so that the powerplay of six overs produced 70 runs even as Chand lived a charmed life. The Delhi youngster was let off twice when on 22 and 45, both off left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
The Windies finally achieved a breakthrough when Permaul trapped Uthappa plumb in front and soon, Chand ran out of luck, holing out to Edwards off Ashley Nurse, the off-spinner.
The double-strike, however, did not check the runs though Baba Aparajith (3) also fell cheaply as Yuvraj and Jadhav took charge to add 80 runs off just 6.2 overs for the fourth wicket to take the Indians close to the 200-mark.
Then came Russell’s four-wicket haul off consecutive deliveries as he got rid of Jadhav, Yuvraj, Naman Ojha (0) and Yusuf Pathan (0) in the 19th over of the innings as India slid to 189 for seven.
Sumit Narwal helped himself to some cheap runs as Beaton conceded 23 runs in the final over of the innings that ended on 214 for seven, a total that was to prove beyond the reach of the under-pressure Windies.