Rampaging Ronchi pummels India A

Luke Ronchi blasted an unbeaten 108 as Australia A ambled to a 17-run win over India in the rain-marred A Team Triangular Series on Tuesday.

updated: September 19, 2008 17:55 IST
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Luke Ronchi blasted an incendiary unbeaten 108 as Australia A ambled to a 17-run win over their Indian opponents via VJD method in the rain-marred A Team Triangular Series on Tuesday.

India A captain S Badrinath's decision to bat first was hardly vindicated as the hosts were shot out for 207 in 49.4 overs. Ashley Noffke (4-39) and Shaun Tait (3-27) shared seven wickets among them and for the hosts, only Yusuf Pathan (54), Praveen Kumar (31) and Abhishek Nayar (30) managed to keep their reputation intact.

Chasing 208, Australia was off to a flying start with Ronchi and Phillip Hughes (47) tearing apart the Indian attack.

Though Yousuf Pathan managed to return Hughes three runs shy of a well-deserved half-century in the 23rd over, David Hussey (8 not out) joined Ronchi in the middle as the visitors raced to 168 for one in 278 overs when heavens opened up, dropping early curtains on the proceedings.

The visitors were declared winners by 17 runs following the VJD method, devised by Kerala engineer V Jayadevan, which is being used for domestic tournament.

It was a pathetic batting show by the star-studded Indian line-up, which looked in all sort of troubles against Tait and Noffke.

Tait delivered a double blow in his second over, removing Robin Uthappa (2) and Suresh Raina (0) in a span of four deliveries to trigger a batting collapse.

Swapnil Asnodkar (23) could not convert the start while Badrinath (1), Rohit Sharma (15) and Dinesh Karthik (12) had their stay cut short by the pace duo of Noffke and Tait.

In fact, it was the 73-run stand between Yusuf Pathan and Abhishek Nayar that gave some respectability to the Indian total.

Once Noffke removed Nayar, another mini-collapse followed and but for Praveen's 27-ball 31 and Dhaval Kulkarni's gritty unbeaten 15 down the order, the hosts would not have crossed the 200-mark.

In reply, Australia began in a whirlwind fashion with Ronchi, who plays for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, in tremendous hurry to seal the match.

In the end, his belligerence made all the difference as Austraila A was declared winners by 17 runs according to the VJD method.

Ronchi's unbeaten 108 came off 79 balls and included 13 hits to the fence, besides three towering sixes.