India-A completed a sweep of the one-day series against New Zealand-A with a commanding 106-run win in the third and final match at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.
Electing to bat, the host posted 284 after skipper Sanju Samson (54) and Tilak Varma (50) set the platform with patient half-centuries before Shardul Thakur gave the final flourish with a quickfire 51 (33b, 4x4, 3x6).
New Zealand-A’s chase was guided by opener Dane Cleaver who made a valiant 83 (89b, 9x4, 2x6) but lacked support from the other end as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Cleaver looked aggressive from the start and found a handful of boundaries in the PowerPlay as he added 52 for the opening wicket with Chad Bowes. After Bowes was dismissed by Rahul Chahar, none of the other batters were able to stick around with Cleaver and the visitors were bowled out for 178.
For India, young pacer Raj Bawa starred with a sensational four-wicket haul (4/11), including three of the last four wickets as he cleaned up the tail in style.
Earlier, India-A started strongly, thanks to Abhimanyu Easwaran’s breezy 39 (35b, 8X4). The right-handed batter went after Matt Fisher, hitting the pacer for three boundaries in one over through the off-side, with the bowler giving him width to free his hands.
Abhimanyu hit Fisher for two more boundaries before he was caught behind trying to cut one over point.
Tilak started positively with a six down the ground off the second ball he faced to get going but played within himself after that as he and Samson shunned any risks. With his eye in, Samson then went after the attack with a couple of sixes.
At the other end, the left-handed Tilak took on left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra for two sixes, one down the ground and another over midwicket on his way to a half-century.
After the hosts lost four quick wickets, Shardul took charge of the innings with attractive stroke-play. He slammed pacer Logan Van Beek for two sixes and a boundary in one over to help the home team finish strongly.
The scores: India-A 284 in 49.3 overs (Sanju Samson 54, Shardul Thakur 51, Tilak Varma 50) bt New Zealand-A 178 in 38.3 overs (Dane Cleaver 83, Raj Bawa 4/11).