Yuvraj Singh staked his claim for national team selection as he struck a brutal 89-ball 123 to lead India A to a thumping 77-run victory over West Indies A in the first of the three-match One-day series, here Sunday.
Handed a lifeline to return to the ODI team by being named captain of India A, Yuvraj produced a sensational exhibition of strokeplay by hitting eight fours and seven sixes in his scintillating innings to help India raise 312 for four after being put to bat at the Chinnaswany Stadium.
The match was reduced to 42-over-a-side affair due to two-hour delayed start on account of wet outfield. India A then bowled out the visitors for 235 in 39.1 overs, giving the home side 1-0 lead in the series with the remaining two matches to be played at the same venue on September 17 and 19.
Chasing the formidable target, the visiting side lost the plot early on as they were reduced to 58 for three in the 11th over and after a brief recovery with a 54-run stand between Narsingh Deonarine (57) and Andre Fletcher (29), they again lost quick wickets to fold up at 235.
Ashley Nurse (57) was the other notable contributor for West Indies A whose batsmen perished while playing shots for quick runs. For India A, R Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan and Sumit Narwal grabbed two wickets each while Jaydev Unadkat got a wicket.
Earlier, Yuvraj tore apart the West Indies A bowling attack as he unleashed his wide range of strokes after a cautious start. The 31-year-old left-hander, who last played an international match in January, was simply superb with his drives on the up and also with the pull shots which all came with impeccable placement and timing.
Mandeep Singh and Yusuf Pathan -- who is also looking for a comeback to the ODI team -- played perfect second fiddle to Yuvraj to help themselves to 67 from 78 balls (7x4, 1x6) and 70 not out from 32 balls (4x4, 6x6) respectively.