India A defeated Australia’s National Performance Squad, notching the highest score of the quadrangular tournament so far to see them prevail by 86 runs in their one-day match in Townsville. The half-centuries from Karun Nair (72) and Sanju Samson (54) helped India A post 305 runs and while Hilton Cartwright (65) and Sam Hazlett (60) looked to have the NPS on track at 1-121 in the 24th over, the young guns collapsed only to be bundled out for 218 runs.
After Health and Cartwright were dismissed, the only wicketkeeper Josh Inglis (27) offered any further resistance as seamers Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat took three wickets apiece to hand India A victory.
Young NSW spinner Arjun was the pick of the NPS bowlers, finishing with 1-36 from 10 overs, while left-arm quick Tom O’Donnell finished with two wickets, including this Yorker from around the wicket to dismiss Kedar Jadhav for 45.
The NPS, made up of some of the best young players in the country, were the surprise ladder leaders going into this match, having stunned Australia A and South Africa A earlier in the tournament. But India A, who beat South Africa A on Wednesday after being ripped out for just 55 against Australia A last weekend, prevented the NPS side from registering their third win in as many games. The NPS were been without their skipper Sean Abbott, who fractured his ankle during the win over Australia A during the week.
The unfortunate injury happened after Abbott delivered the final ball of the match and firmly struck drive from Cameron Bancroft crashed into the bowler’s left ankle as he completed his follow-through. Australia A was left 12 runs short of their revised target in a rain affected match and Abbott’s injury took a little gloss off the win for the squad of youngsters against their more highly fancied opponents. It was the second win for the NPS, having also dispatched South Africa A by 17 runs in the quadrangular series opener.