A match-winning knock from Mandeep Singh has seen India A claim the Quadrangular ‘A’ Series title for the third consecutive year, defeating Australia A by 57 runs in Mackay.
Mandeep, who scored a majestic 95 from 108 balls, was pivotal in the victory, as he, alongside series-leading run-scorer Manish Pandey (61), helped the tourist’s total to 4-266.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then ran through Australia A’s lower and middle order, picking up four wickets in an impressive showing.
The home side were bowled out for 209, with Dhawal Kulkarni, Karun Nair and Axar Patel also picking up two wickets apiece.
Under the tutelage of cricket legend Rahul Dravid, the Indian side came into the bout the lower-ranked side after the group matches, but claimed wins where it counted leading into the final.
The victory came just five days after Australia A claimed victory over the champions by one run, with Kurtis Patterson (19) and Nic Maddinson (31) unable to replicate their century-making feats in the final.
After Kedar Jadhav (25no) and Patel (22no) finished off India A’s innings to set Australia A an imposing target, the hosts got off to a good start.
Their first wicket partnership yielded 31 before Kurtis Patterson was dismissed by a fired-up Kulkarni.
Cameron Bancroft (34) and Nic Maddinson (31) then consolidated, able to pick off the quicks and found the ropes six times between them, but the introduction of part-spin off-spinner Karun Nair undid both batsmen, starting a run of wickets in the middle overs.
Handscomb and Alex Ross (34) played handy innings in the latter stages of the chase.
Ross displayed his usual array of sweeps and reverse-sweeps, while Handscomb looked assured and for a while, the pair looked to have their side on track during the middle overs.
But when the Australia A skipper was caught on the boundary off Patel, it sparked a collapse of 6-26 as Australia A’s lower-order crumbled, handing India A a deserved victory.
AUS A: Patterson, Bancroft (wk), Maddinson, Handscomb (c), Ross, Stoinis, Richardson, Mennie, Tremain, Boyce, Worrall, Moody (12th)— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 3, 2016
IND A: M Singh, Nair, Iyer, Pandey (c), Jadhav, Samson (wk), Pandya, Patel, Kulkarni, Unadkat, Chahal, Yadav (12th) #AusATour— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 3, 2016