Ajinkya Rahane's century was key in India C clinching the Deodhar Trophy title. (Image credit: Ajinkya Rahane Twitter)
The Deodhar Trophy final between India B and India C witnessed 675 runs being scores. Ajinkya Rahane and Ishan Kishan slammed centuries for India C. Shreyas Iyer, playing for India B, gave the team belief with a staggering century. However, India C held their nerve and won the final by 29 runs to clinch the Deodhar Trophy title at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.
Rahane’s brilliant 144 and Iyer’s dazzling 148 would give both men plenty of confidence ahead of the series against Australia but it was the exploits of Kishan, who became the youngest centurion in a Deodhar Trophy final that would have warmed the hearts of the selectors and the people.
India C chose to bat and both Rahane and Kishan started off in steady fashion. Both batsmen took their time to get their eye in and consolidated the base in the first 13 overs. Kishan broke the shackles by hammering Krishnappa Gowtham for a four and a six in the 14th over. Shahbaz Nadeem, included in the T20 squad for the West Indies series, was also targeted by Kishan who smashed a six to deep midwicket.
Kishan, Rahane explode
The young left-hander got a reprieve on 31 when Nadeem had trapped him in front only for the bowler to overstep. After that, the youngster opened up and flayed the India B bowling to all parts of the ground. At the other end, Rahane played the sheet anchor’s role as the opening partnership yielded 210 runs.
Kishan notched up a fine century by dabbing Jaydev Unadkat to the off side and taking a quick single. However, the bowler had his revenge by trapping Kishan in front for a brilliant 114. Rahane, though, continued on his merry ways and aided by some big-hitting from Suryakumar Yadav (39) got India C past 300. Rahane entered the century club and stayed unbeaten to help his side post a mammoth 352/7.
In response, India B lost Mayank Agarwal cheaply but Ruturaj Gaikwad and Iyer found the boundaries at will. Gaikwad’s aggressive fifty and his 116-run stand with Iyer put India B on course before Pappu Roy’s left-arm spin broke the dangerous stand.
Iyer on top
With wickets tumbling at the other end following Gaikwad’s departure, Iyer opened up by blasting two fours and three sixes in two overs bowled by Rahul Chahar and Yadav. The Mumbai right-hander reached his landmark by hammering Vijay Shankar straight down the ground for a boundary but he was struggling with cramps.
Iyer was getting good support from Ankush Bains and the 83-run partnership kept India B in the hunt. However, Roy struck again and India C had the advantage. However, Gowtham and Iyer kept hitting sixes at will but Chahar struck the vital blow when Iyer top-edged a slog sweep to short fine leg to depart for a brilliant 148.
India C heaved a sigh of relief and they held on to win the match by 30 runs. After the match, Iyer said, “I felt if I had stayed till the 45th over, the chase was going to be easy. But unfortunately, we lost the plot.”
Brief scores: India C 352/7 (Ajinkya Rahane 144*, Ishan Kishan 114) beat India B 323 all out (Shreyas Iyer 148, Pappu Roy 3/75) by 29 runs