Gaikwad smashes 187* to lead India A to victory

India A v Sri Lanka A, first unofficial ODI, Belgaum June 06, 2019

India A 317 for 4 (Gaikwad 187*, Anmolpreet 65, Kishan 45, Lahiru Kumara 3-62) beat Sri Lanka A 269 for 6 (Jayasuriya 108*, Shanaka 44) by 48 runs

Maharashtra batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a career-best 187* (off 136 balls) to lead India A to a 48-run win against Sri Lanka A in the first unofficial ODI in Belgaum on Thursday.

Put in to bat in a match reduced to 42-overs a side, Gaikwad led India A to 317 for 4. In reply, Sri Lanka A could only muster 269 for 6. Shehan Jayasuriya made 108 not out from No.4, but off 120 balls, with the visiting side never seriously threatening the target.

Gaikwad stayed brisk from the start when he walked out to open the innings, and upped his scoring rate significantly once past three figures. He got to his half-century off 46 balls and took 94 to get to a century. His last 85 runs came off a mere 42 deliveries. He built good partnerships with Anmolpreet Singh and Ishan Kishan for the second and third wickets. Anmolpreet made a 67-ball 65 from No.3 and shared in a 163-run stand off 152 balls, while Kishan smacked 45 off 34 in a 99-run stand that came off just 65 balls.

Gaikwad, who struck 26 fours and two sixes during his innings, had lost opening partner Shubman Gill cheaply in the third over, but the two partnerships that followed put India A on firm footing.

For Sri Lanka A, Lahiru Kumara's 3 for 62 in nine overs were the best figures.

In the chase, Sri Lanka A plodded steadily, with the run rate hovering near five per over for beyond the Powerplay, even though they had started with an asking rate of 7.57. Opening bowlers Tushar Deshpande and Sandeep Warrier took out the openers within the first five overs, immediately putting Sri Lanka A on the back foot.

Jayasuriya was involved in two half-century partnerships for the third and fourth wickets, but only captain Ashan Priyanjan showed urgency in the top order, hitting 29 off 15 balls. Dasun Shanaka also hit out, making a 31-ball 44, but he had walked in 145 for 5 in 25.3 overs, with the required rate already past 10 an over.

Mayank Markande took 2 for 66 in seven overs, while Shivam Dube (1 for 35 in seven) and Deepak Hooda (1 for 24 in five) were the most economical.

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