A timely century by Kirk Edwards (104, 104b, 12x4, 3x6) propelled West Indies ‘A’ to a 45-run, series-clinching victory against India ‘A’ at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
India ‘A’ captain Yuvraj Singh, who personally had a good series with the bat, said he was disappointed with his batsmen and admitted that his bowlers leaked too many runs in the death overs. “We played very well in the first game, but all credit to the West Indies. They played extremely well in the third match,” Yuvraj conceded.
“We conceded too many runs at the death and when you are one batsman short (Mandeep Singh was not available to bat), it becomes difficult. Unfortunately, Aparajith and I got out at the same time and the rest of the batsmen did not contribute enough. Hopefully, we do not repeat the mistakes in the T20 game (on Saturday),” he added.
Thursday was the sixth anniversary of Yuvraj’s six-sixes-in-an over feat achieved in the 2007 World T20 at Durban. The hapless England bowler was Stuart Broad.
The 1-2 series defeat at the hands of West Indies A was a rare failure for India A, who whitewashed New Zealand A 3-0 prior to the just-concluded rubber against the Caribbeans.
The hosts won the opening match of the series against West Indies by 77 runs before the visitors drew parity by winning the second game by 55 runs.
But the Yuvraj Singh-led side were found wanting in the decider as electing to field, the Indian bowlers once again disappointed and allowed West Indies A to pile up a huge 312 for nine in their 50 overs.
The 28-year-old Edwards smashed a run-a-ball 104, while Leon Johnson (54 off 42 balls), skipper Kieran Powell (40) and Jonathan Carter (35) also chipped in with useful contributions to take West Indies A to the over 300-run total.
India's woes in the bowling department continued as barring Jaydev Unadkat (5/55) and Shahbaz Nadeem (2/33) all bled runs.
Chasing the huge total, the Indians looked on course when Yuvraj and Aparajith were there in the middle, but the second string team faltered after their departure to finish on 267-8.
Young opener Aparajith, who replaced Unmukt Chand, top-scored for India A with 78 (96b, 6x4, 1x6), while captain Yuvraj made a quick 61 (59b, 4x4, 3x6).
Yuvraj and Aparajith promised a revival, putting on 112 runs in 120 balls for the third wicket before both fell in quick succession. While Yuvraj was bowled by Ashley Nurse, Permaul disturbed Aparajith's timbers.
After Yuvraj and Aparajith's dismissals, the ever-climbing asking rate took a toll on India's middle-order as the likes of Kedar Jadhav (17) and Yusuf Pathan (18) failed to deliver when it mattered most. India's chase was also hampered by Mandeep Singh's absence as the right-hander did not come out to bat after suffering an injury while fielding.
Barring Aparajith and Yuvraj, the Indian batting line-up failed yet again in the crucial match which they desperately needed to win to clinch the series.
For West Indies, left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul claimed three wickets for 55 runs, while pacer Miguel Cummins accounted for two Indian batsmen giving away just 46 runs.
The teams meet again Saturday for a one-off Twenty20 bash.
West Indies ‘A’ 312-9 in 50 overs (Kieran Powell 40, Kirk Edwards 104, Leon Johnson 54; Jaydev Unadkat 5-55) beat
India ’A’ 267-8 in 50 overs (Baba Aparajith 78, Yuvraj Singh 61; Veerasammy Perumal 3-55) by 45 runs