Indian bowlers Karn Sharma and Shardul Thakur wrecked havoc in New Zealand bowling as the hosts clinched the final unofficial ‘One Dayer’ by 3 wickets and clean swept the visitors by 3-0 here on Sunday.
Chasing a meagre target of 174, India A were 90 for six at one stage before Shardul (40 off 32 balls) and then Karn (38 no, 49 balls) helped their team to cross over the line in just over 32 overs.
Shardul celebrated his India call-up by getting one for 19 in 4 overs during the New Zealand innings that folded for 173 in 44.2 overs.
India A captain Rishabh Pant used seven bowlers, with Basil Thampi recurring figures of three for 19 in six overs. The chase was earlier expected to be an easy one but turned out to be a difficult one as Abhimanyu Easwaran (49 off 51 balls) looked the only batsman comfortable at the top of the order.
His innings comprises of six boundaries and a six but the season’s first triple-centurion, Prashant Chopra (0), had other demoralizing innings after scoring only 13 in his first match in India A colors.
Skipper Pant, who is also going through a rough patch, did not help his cause either after being cleaned up by pacer Scott Kuggeleijn for 1. He had scored 2 in his previous match. At 90 for six, it was Shardul and Karn, who anchored their innings and steadied the sinking ship with a 43-run stand in 10 plus overs before the Mumbai pacer was dismissed.
At 133 for seven, India A needed another 41 runs with only three wickets remaining. Karn played a gem of an innings along with Shahbaz Nadeem (7 no) to take the hosts past the finishing line.
New Zealand A 173 in 44.2 overs (George Worker 39, Henry Nicholls 42, Basil Thampi 3/19, Mohammed Siraj 2/27, Shahbaz Nadeem 2/34)
India A 174/7 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 49, Shardul Thakur 40, Karn Sharma 38 no). India A win series 3-0.