This may only be a dress rehearsal but psychological points to be gained, India A made the most of the opportunity even as Australia A would have fancied themselves to win this encounter.
When Australia A won the toss and decided to bat first, they would not have expected to score 277 runs against India A and also, of having to lose the match having scored as much as they did. However, India A never gave up and stayed in the hunt and were rewarded for their persistence.
David Hussey stood out for Australia A with seventy-four is just sixty-seven balls as contributions were staggered across the scorecard. With the form Hussey is showing, Australia will want to draft him into the team as quickly as possible. But first there was the matter of winning this inconsequential final league match before the Tri Nation A series final on Friday.
Hussey and opener North steadied the innings after the loss of the one early wicket but contributions from the middle order helped Australia get to the target devised when Hussey was at the crease. It left India A 277 runs to get and one wondered if it were even possible should India A lose a couple of wickets early.
Instead India A had batsmen contributing right through and it was the collective effort rather an outstanding individual performance that saw India A through. Suresh Raina and Yousuf Pathan rallied around half century maker Rohit Sharma and the trio made quick runs to make this a battle that had to go in India A’s favour. Ravi Teja, also blooded in the game with originally appointed skipper Subramaniam Badrinath participating in the Irani Trophy tie for Rest of India (ROI), made a useful thirty-three.
India A sealed the match in forty-six overs with three wickets to spare. Psychological advantage apart, India A will have to take this confidence into the final in order to surpass the same opposition in two days’ time.