A middle-order collapse hurt India A as West Indies A (279 for six wickets) won the second unofficial ODI at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday by 55 runs. Right-arm pacer Miguel Cummins took four wickets for 31 and Nikita Miller bagged back-to-back wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan to spell doom for the home team. India were all out for 244 in the 49th over. The three-match series is now level 1-1. India A won the first match on Sunday by 77 runs. The decider will be played in Bangalore on Thursday.
In what turned out to be decisive moment of the match, India A lost Yuvraj and Pathan off successive deliveries. Left-arm spinner Miller was on a roll as he got the better of Yuvraj (40) and Pathan (0) as the West Indians put pressure with a combination of good bowling and smart thinking. Kedhar Jadhav paid for poor shot selection after scoring 35 off 38 balls. The inability of the Indian batsmen to convert good starts proved to be a major undoing as Naman Ojha (34) became the fifth top order batsman to squander a decent start. (Also read: Yuvraj Singh rues dropped catches)
The slide started with Unmukt Chand, who was the third batsman to fall as the former India under-19 skipper threw his wicket away after playing a patient 72-ball 38. With India A needing 186 to win at a required rate of almost 7 runs per over, pressure mounted on Yuvraj. But the India A skipper, playing his second competitive comeback game, drove away from his body and spooned a fuller ball to extra-cover. Yuvraj's 40 off 58 balls had three fours and a six. A tentative Pathan edged Miller to slips only to make things worse for India.
On an overcast afternoon, India A lost Robin Uthappa for 10 and No. 3 Mandeep Singh for 3. Uthappa was bowled by Jonathan Carter, who had earlier slammed a lovely century for the visiting side. Mandeep was caught behind trying to cut pacer Miguel Cummins. India were 18 for 2 in the seventh over.
Unmukt and Yuvraj produced 64 runs for the third wicket but a poor stroke ended the former's innings. Unmukt was caught brilliantly by Andre Fletcher on the long-on ropes after he tried to slice off-spinner Ashley Nurse out of the park.
The asking rate finally got out of India's control. In the last 10 overs, India A had to score over 10 runs and over. A last-ditch effort by 37-run last-wicket stand between Shahbaz Nadeem (21 not out) and Jaydev Unadkat (15) could not stop the inevitable.
Earlier, Carter's almost a run-a-ball 133 was the cornerstone of the Caribbean innings as West Indies A scored 279 for six wickets in their 50 overs. R Vinay Kumar took 3 for 56 and Yusuf Pathan took 2 for 61 to keep the West Indians in check after India A won the toss and decided to field.
Left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat claimed the crucial wicket of Carter, who was LBW after a 132-ball innings laced with 18 fours and three sixes. A 79-run third wicket stand between Carter and Kirk Edwards (36) helped West Indies recover from a poor start (21 for 2). Carter was a one-man show as he scored with ease as Yuvraj used six bowlers to contain the rampaging 25-year-old left-hander from Barbados. Carter has never represented West Indies in ODIs, T20 internationals or Test matches.
On a day when top West Indian batsmen failed to convert good starts into tall scores, Leon Johnson scored a crucial 39 coming in at No. 6. Ashley Nurse scored 12 off seven balls in the death overs.
Brief scores: West Indies A 279 for 6 in 50 overs (Edwards 36, Carter 133, Johnson 39, Vinay Kumar 3/56, Pathan 2/61). India 224 in 48.4 over (Yuvraj 40, Unmukt 38, Jadhav 35, Ojha 34, Miller 2/46, Cummins 4/31, Carter 2/33).