Top order powers India A to dominating 4-1 series win

India A team pocketed the five-match One Day series 4-1 as the top order blew away the modest total in the final match. Chasing 237, India A’s top three struck fifties and completed the target in the 33rd over itself. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad was named player of the match for his sterling knock of 99 from 89 balls. The eight-wicket win marked India’s domination over the hosts in the limited-overs series.

Bowlers set the tone

At Coolidge cricket ground, Antigua, West Indies A won the toss and opted to bat first. The hosts got off to a wonderful start with the openers putting up 77 runs for the first wicket. Navdeep Saini provided the first blow by dismissing Kjorn Ottley. Sunil Ambris, batting on 61 off 52 balls, was run out by Gaikwad. These dismissals sparked a collapse.

Rutherford comes to the rescue

From 77/1, West Indies slipped to 124/7. Batting at number six, Sherfane Rutherford took stock of the situation and started batting with attacking intent. Along with Keemo Paul and Khary Pierre, Rutherford carried West Indies past 200. His 65 off 70 balls helped the side post the final score of 236 all out in 47.4 overs. Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar and Saini picked up two wickets each.

Gill and Gaikwad provide a fiery start

Shubman Gill was in no mood to hold back in the final match of the series. The youngster started dealing in boundaries. His blasting knock of 69 from just 40 balls helped India A get to 110 runs in the first 11 overs. Once Gill departed, Gaikwad took over and stitched a 112-run partnership for the second wicket with Shreyas Iyer. Gaikwad fell one short of his century as Paul dismissed him. Iyer and Manish Pandey ticked off the remaining runs.

These two teams will now engage in a three-match unofficial Test series. The first match begins on 24th July at Antigua.