Bangalore: In helpful conditions, bowlers can be a major force even in the shortest version of the game. But on a good batting surface, the best ally for a team trying to defend a total is the pressure of the scoreboard. Once India A's batsmen had romped to 214 in their 20 overs - it hardly mattered that they suffered a collapse from 189 for 3 to 189 for 7 when Andre Russell took four wickets in as many balls - all the bowlers had to do is put the ball in the right areas and hope their fielders held their catches. India A did this in some style, routing West Indies A by 93 runs in front a raucous Saturday (September 21) crowd at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
When two batsmen fire, the game can get away from you very quickly when the innings is limited to only 20 overs. In India A's case, there were four meaty contributors, the first of whom, Unmukt Chand, benefited not merely from wayward bowling but depressing catching. Dropped on 22 and 42, Chand (47) did not pay the price even when his shot selection was far from ideal.
Robin Uthappa, the other opener, occasionally felt for the ball outside off when he tried to punch through cover without getting across his stumps, but had no such problems through the on side. Ronsford Beaton, likened to Curtly Ambrose by Yuvraj Singh, extracted bounce, getting the ball to climb into Uthappa's rib cage, but the batsman was quick to move to the off side and shovel the ball for six over backward square-leg. Uthappa added a magnificent pull and a brutal hoick and three sixes had him rushing off the blocks.