Skipper Manish Pandey's valiant century went in vain as India A lost to Australia A by a solitary run in a high-scoring thriller in the Quadrangular Cricket series here Tuesday but still made it to the summit clash. Chasing 323, the Indians came as close to requiring three runs off the last ball, but Shardul Thakur's run out off the last ball took Australia A to the final of the quadrangular A-Team One-Day series.
While Faiz Fazal and Shreyas Iyer fell cheaply, Mandeep Singh held his end and provided stability to the chase. Mandeep and Pandey stitched a 44-run stand before Mandeep departed for 56. Pandey went on to score his second century of the series and put his team on course to victory with a match-altering 157-run stand with Samson. Pandey departed on 110 off 91 balls with just 22 runs needed for victory, but Kane Richardson had Samson caught off the penultimate ball, which proved decisive in the end as the visitors finished on 321 for 8.
Daniel Worrall and Cameron Boyce picked up two wickets each while Stoinis and Richardson had one. Earlier, Thakur struck early trapping Marcus Stoinis leg before for a ten-ball duck after India A opted to bowl. Kurtis Patterson and Nic Maddinson put in the hard yards to notch a 229-run stand for the second wicket, en route respective centuries. The duo, however, departed within two overs of each other with 251 runs on the board.
While Maddinson's Man-of-the-Match effort – a 117-ball 118 – comprised of nine fours and four sixes, Patterson's maiden List A century included 16 hits to the boundary. Post their departure, Australia A's middle-order gave them some late impetus, on the back of cameos from Alex Ross (17) and Cameron Bancroft (21 not out), to take them to 322 for 6.
The two teams will meet again in the final on Sunday (September 4), while the National Performance Squad (NPS) and South Africa A will battle it out for third spot on Saturday.
Brief scores: Australia A 322/6 in 50 overs (Kurtis Patterson 115, Nic Maddinson 118; Shardul Thakur 2-50) beat India A 321/8 in 50 overs (Manish Pandey 110, Sanju Samson 87; Daniel Worrall 2-57, Cameron Boyce 2-71) by one run.