India ‘B’ kicked off their Deodhar Trophy 2016-17 campaign with a 23-run win over India ‘A’ in the opening match of the one-day tournament. Dhawal Kulkarni’s hat-trick - Shardul Thakur off the last ball off the 47th over followed by wickets of a rampaging Deepak Hooda (46 off 27) and Siddharth Kaul - in the penultimate over helped the side bag a win. Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan’s well compiled 122-ball 128 complemented by half-centuries from Parthiv Patel and Ishank Jaggi helped set the match up for India ‘B’.
Asked to bat by Harbhajan Singh, Parthiv opening the batting with Dhawan, laid the foundation for a big total with a 93-run opening stand until Kaul struck. The pacer from Punjab, accounted for the India ‘B’ skipper and dismissed Shreevats Goswami off the last ball of the over to leave the side on 95 for two. Jaggi then forged a 103-run stand with the left-handed opener until he was sent back by Krunal Pandya. And 57 runs later, Hooda accounted for Dhawan who was looking to up the ante leaving the side on 255 for four with a little over nine overs left in the innings.
With a formidable total to attain, Mayank Agarwal and Mandeep Singh put together 45 runs until Axar Patel castled the latter. Kulwant Khejroliya then followed up with the wicket of the opener from Karnataka to leave India ‘A’ on 57 for two. Manoj Tiwary then joined forces with Ambati Rayudu to add 79 runs for the third wicket until he was sent back by the pacer.
Rayudu, continued to hold up one end and kept the side in the chase even as wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Rishabh Pant was caught by A Karnewar off his own bowling 49 runs later. The spinner also accounted for Pandya a while later to leave India ‘A’ on 233 for five and in his next claimed the vital wicket of the No 3 batsman. With the team on 250 for six with a little over seven overs left, Hooda continued to fight with the lower-order. The swashbuckling batsman took the attack to the bowlers. Axar sent back Harbhajan and Shardul joined the hard-hitting bat in the middle. However, he was sent back for an 8-ball 17 by his Mumbai team-mate leaving the side on 300 for eight with 18 balls left. Kulkarni then bowled the side to victory with the wickets of Hooda and Kaul.