The Indian batsmen failed to hold their nerves during slog overs as they lost to Australia by seven runs in an exciting opening encounter of the tri-series tournament between ‘A’ teams here on Thursday. Australia got four points from the match to take its tally to eight points from two matches.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s magnificent unbeaten 145 (99b, 18x4, 6x6) helped Australia score a stiff 298 for eight after Cheteshwar Pujara decided to field.
In reply, India was restricted to 291 for eight despite half-centuries from opener Rohit Sharma (66, 87b, 7x4), Suresh Raina (83, 79b, 7x4, 1x6) and Ambati Rayudu (70, 56b, 5x4, 2x6).
Pacers Nathan Coultier-Nile (three for 37 in 10 overs) did a brilliant job at the death as he got two wickets in the 49th over which was a maiden. India was well within sniffing distance of winning the match as they required 16 from last two overs with in-form Rayudu at the crease.
Rayudu who hit five fours and two sixes in his 56-ball knock was dismissed by Coultier-Nile off the first delivery of the 49th over. The burly Stuart Binny (0) wasted three crucial balls before he became Coultier-Nile’s second victim of that over. With 16 to get off the last over, it was too much to ask from Mohammed Shami and Siddharth Kaul as they managed only eight runs.
The scores: Australia ‘A’ 298 for eight in 50 overs (Glenn Maxwell 145 n.o., Nic Maddinson 52) bt India ‘A’ 291 for eight (Suresh Raina 83, Ambati Rayudu 70, Rohit Sharma 66, Nathan Coultier-Nile three for 37).