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Wildermuth's Final-Ball Six Helps Australia A Set Up Final Date With India B in Quadrangular Series

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 27, 2018, 7:41 PM IST
Wildermuth's Final-Ball Six Helps Australia A Set Up Final Date With India B in Quadrangular Series

South Africa A needed a bonus point victory to keep themselves in the hunt for the final of the Quadrangular Series, and right-arm pacer Dane Paterson, with his five-wicket haul, provided them with the exact same against India A at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday.

However, it was still not enough to propel them into the final as Australia A got the better of India B by 5 wickets (DLS method) in a thrilling encounter at the KSCA Cricket Ground in Alur and cemented their place in the final.

These two teams will now meet in the final in Bengaluru on Wednesday. India A, on the other hand, will take on South Africa for the third spot on the same day in Alur.

India B and Australia finished with 12 points each, while the remaining two sides ended with nine each.

India B v Australia A in Alur

With five runs needed off the last delivery, Jack Wildermuth smoked Prasidh Krishna for a six to take Australia A to the final.

Earlier, asked to bat, skipper Manish Pandey (109-ball 117*) continued his rich vein of form to help India B finish on 276 for 6 in 50 overs. There were frequent rain interruptions when Australia came out to bat and the match had to be reduced to 40 overs, with a revised target of 247.

The Australian side looked down and out after being reduced to 155 for 5, with opener Usman Khawaja (93-ball 101) fighting the lone battle. He finally found an ally in Wildermuth (42-ball 62*) as the two put on an unbeaten 93-run stand to take Australia home with five wickets in hand. The Travis Head-led side finished on 248 for 5 in 40 overs.

Chasing a challenging total, wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey (23) and Khawaja shared a 77-run partnership for the opening wicket. Playing his first game of the series, Jalaj Saxena then dismissed Carey and Head (5), in quick succession. Peter Handscomb (2), Marnus Labuschagne (13) and Ashton Agar (15) too failed to contribute, and that's when Wildermuth came to the rescue.

Khawaja scored his runs at a fair clip but Wildermuth was clearly the aggressor, smashing five fours and three sixes. The 24-year-old dominated the partnership and gave the senior man Khawaja enough space to play his natural game. In the process, Khawaja also brought up his century.

With 19 required off the final over, Wildermuth blasted fours off the third and fifth balls from paceman Krishna to leave five runs to win with one ball remaining. Even a tie would have seen the Australians progress to the final but Wildermuth stamped his authority with a six over the mid-wicket fence to record a memorable win.

Earlier, all of Mayank Agarwal (36), Ishan Kishan (31) and Deepak Hooda (30) got starts but none of them were able to convert them. However, Pandey carried on till the end, hitting seven fours and three sixes, to lead India A to a reasonably good total.

For Australia, Michael Neser picked up three wickets, while Jhye Richardson, Wildermuth and Mitchell Swepson too scalped one each.

India A v South Africa A in Bengaluru

(Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files) (Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files)

South Africa rode on Paterson's 5 for 19 to bundle India A out for 157 in 37.3 overs after Khaya Zondo won the toss and opted to field. In reply, South Africa survived a minor slump to get the job done with 74 deliveries to spare. They finished on 159 for 6 in 37.4 overs.

Robert Frylinck (2 for 36) and Paterson got the visitors off to a rollicking start by getting rid of openers Suryakumar Yadav (5) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (0) inside four overs. Frylinck then knocked over captain Shreyas Iyer (7) with a peach of a slower delivery before Paterson accounted for Ambati Rayudu (11) to reduce India A to 31 for 4.

Coming in at No. 5, Nitish Rana stuck around for a while but failed to carry falling to right-arm seamer Malusi Siboto (1 for 24) for 19.

Things could have gone worse for the hosts if not for Sanju Samson and Deepak Chahar's 64-run association for the seventh wicket. The duo scored at a decent pace and helped their team past the 100-run mark. Just when it seemed the two would get India A out of the woods, Paterson returned to dismiss Chahar for 42-ball 38, which included three fours and three maximums.

In the very next over, Sisanda Magala (2 for 46) bowled Samson for 42-ball 36 and obliterated India A's chances of getting closer to the 200-run mark. There was hardly any contribution from the last three batsmen as India A were bowled out for a below-par total.

Unlike India A, South Africa received a good start from their top-order. The opening pair of Gihahn Cloete (24) and Pieter Malan added 37 runs before the former was caught off Khaleel Ahmed's (3 for 45) bowling. Sarel Erwee then joined hands with Malan and took the South African innings forward.

Just when things were going to plan, leg-spinner Mayank Markande outfoxed Erwee for 20 before Khaleel sent Malan back for an 86-ball 47. Before the dust had settled, Zondo (4) and Paterson (12) too perished as the visiting side found themselves in a spot of bother at 111 for 5, still needing over 45 runs.

However, Senuran Muthusamy (16) and Farhaan Behardien (18*) added a few crucial runs to take their team closer to the target. Muthusamy fell to Krunal Pandya (2 for 37), but Behardien and Frylinck (15*) made sure there were no further hiccups and got their team over the line.
First Published: August 27, 2018, 5:06 PM IST

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