Quadrangular series 2018: Wildermuth's last-ball six seals it for Australia A
A thrilling last-ball six by Jack Wildermuth thrust Australia A to a sensational win over India B in their Quadrangular series game at Bengaluru, helping his side reach the finals. With five needed off the last ball, Wildermuth managed to clear the ropes off Prasidh Krishna to chase down the target, revised to 247 in 40 overs after rain halted play in the middle.
The platform for the chase was laid by Usman Khawaja, who helped himself to his 10th List A century, eclipsing Manish Pandey's 109-ball 117.
Batting first, the Indian B side were given a solid start by Mayank Agarwal and Ishan Kishan, before Michael Neser struck and dismissed Mayank in the 13th over, picking the first of his three wickets. The rest of the batsmen batted around Pandey, who scored his seventh List-A century and took the total to 276 at the Alur Cricket Grounds.
Useful contributions from Deepak Hooda and cameos from Jalaj Saxena and Shreyas Gopal helped the side reach a competitive total.
In response, the combination of Alex Carey and Usman Khawaja started off steadily, before a testing spell from all-rounder Jalaj Saxena, included in the place of Jayant Yadav, threatened to derail the chase. Kulwant Khejroliya quickly accounted for Peter Handscomb, and at 95-3, India B must have fancied their chances of getting back into the game.
Khawaja stayed like a rock at one end, even as Marnus Labuschagne fell to leggie Shreyas Gopal and Deepak Hooda's off-spin got the better of Ashton Agar. The Australians had stumbled to 155-5 inside 30 overs, before Jack Wildermuth entered.
With Khawaja holding fort on one side, Wildermuth motored his side towards the chase, even as a rain-break recalibrated the equations and revised the score to 247 in 40 overs. With more than 30 runs required off the last three overs, Wildermuth and Khawaja upped the ante, ending with a 93-run partnership in just over 11 overs.
The win helped the Australian A side edge past their South African counterparts and will face India B in the finals at the Chinnaswamy on August 29.