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Pandey - The century making man - 24/09/2016

The right-handed skippers blasting century seemed to be in vain as India A lost to Australia A by one run at the Ray Mitchell Oval in Harrup Park.

Chasing a huge total of 323, the Indian A team has some work cut out for them. After the 50 overs they fell short by just one run scoring 321 and losing two wickets in the last two balls.

Winning the toss and choosing to field first, the luck with the ball was not in the favor of the Indians as out of the 6 wickets they picked up, Shardul Thakur managed to scalp up two wickets and the other three wickets were shared between Hardik Pandya, Varun Aaron and JaydevUnadkat. This didn't put the Aussies down and with some exemplary batting from NJ Maddinson who struck 118 runs not-out and shared a 230 run partnership for the second wicket with KR Patterson, India A knew that their batting needed to be flawless to win the match.

India A got off to a slow start and by the 15th over had lost both FaizFazal who scored 12 runs and ShreyasIyer who was dismissed for just 13, leaving the team with just 68 for 2.

The Captain seemed to hold the team together as he managed to stay on the crease even though wickets kept falling at regular intervals at the other end. Things did not seem too bright for the India A team as they soon reached 144 for 4. It was time for the skipper to take charge and put his best foot forward. Joined by Sanju Samson at the crease, the duo put up a great partnership of 157 runs before the fifth wicket, this brought the team right back into the game.

Samson soon got past his fifty to make 87 whereas Pandey saw his second three-figure mark this series, with just 82 balls, this managed to put the Men in Blue in control of a victory.

Striking the ball fearlessly and crossing the boundary more than 13 times, the right-handed skipper was to lead India A home. With hard strokes and precision, Pandey went on to score a superb 110 but was then sent back to the bench by Daniel Worrall in the 47th over. This gave the Aussies another glimpse of victory.

9 runs needed to win off the last over, India were hoping Samson could be the key and take them home but with some fantastic bowling from Australia taking two wickets in the last two balls of the match, India A managed to fall short of a victory. The man of the match in the Indian eyes will be the skipper Manish Pandey, though he was not able to clinch a victory for India, he played a glorious game of cricket by making 110 off 91 balls hitting 10 fours and 3 sixes to all parts of the ground.

The 26-year-old skipper Manish Pandey is in great shape and has being playing some fantastic cricket. Starting from 2009 when he helped the Belgavi Panthers achieve a win against Mangalore United where he scored a glorious 112 from 62 balls, smashing fourteen fours and four sixes. Pandey seemed to be the batting star for the Karnataka team last year when he scored an amazing 163 runs from just 104 balls, making sure that 14 balls would cross the boundary line (13 fours and one six). The right-handed middle order batsman is showing everybody that he can make a difference by coming out to bat fourth or fifth. Staying with the Mysuru Warriors as captain for the third time, He is looking to bring all that he has learnt along with his run getting streak to the Karnataka Premier League this year and hope to get the boys in yellow another win.

- Nitanti Alur

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