India A were back to winning ways as they defeated hosts South Africa A by 18 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the second round robin encounter of the tri-series. Having lost to Australia A in the opening game,Cheteshwar Pujara’s side scored from the second,which was curtailed to 38-overs match due to rain.
Put in to bat,India scored a commendable 309 for five in 38 overs with half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (85),Rohit Sharma (65),Suresh Raina (60) and Ambati Rayudu (57). In reply,the Proteas got 258 for five in 34.4 overs when rain stopped play. The D/L par score at that point was 276,which ensured that India finished winners by 18 runs at the LC de Villiers Oval.
Jammu & Kashmir off-spinner Perveez Rasool (2/47 in 6 overs),who was ignored by the team management during the recent ODI series in Zimbabwe,made an impact in his first game of the series. In his second over,he removed both openers Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw,who had added 77 runs in 10 overs. Rasool first bowled Hendricks and then bowled a straighter one that caught the left-handed Rossouw plumb in front.
From 78/0 South Africa had gone to 78 for two but Dean Elgar (84,72 balls) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (69,61 balls) didn’t let the tempo drop as they added 149 runs in 21 overs at over seven runs per over. It was left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem’s (2/49 in 7 overs) second spell that turned the tables as he castled van Jaarsveld who went for a wild slog and then removed Elgar who was caught by Jaydev Unadkat.
In between,Unadkat removed rival captain Justin Ontong (4) as South Africa slumped to 251 for five from relatively comfortable 228 for two. The three wickets also affected the D/L par score which shot up and proved crucial in the final context of the match.
Earlier,after being put in to bat,the Indian top-order yet again put up a good show with almost all the established players save skipper Cheteshwar Pujara contributing handsomely to the team’s massive total of 309 for five in 38 overs. Dhawan blazed his way to a 67-ball-85 with 10 boundaries and three sixes,adding 140 runs in less than 20 overs with Rohit (65,65 balls,5×4,2×6). Both were dismissed by Ontong trying to attack the part-time off-spinner. From 140 for no loss,it soon became 168 for three with skipper Pujara (9) being dismissed by fast bowler Hardus Viljoen.
Raina (60,34 balls,7×4,2×6) and Rayudu (57) smashed 89 runs for the fourth wicket in less than 10 overs,helping India surpass 300-run mark. Pacers Kyle Abbott (0/67 in eight overs) and Beuran Hendricks (0/67 in 8 overs) leaked runs during the initial overs. It was Dhawan who started the onslaught,hitting Hendricks for four boundaries in the second over of the match. The Indians didn’t look back after that.
Brief Scores: India A 309/5 in 38 overs (S Dhawan 85,R Sharma 65,S Raina 60) bt SA A 258/5 in 34.4 overs (D Elgar 84,V van jaarsveld 69,P Rasool 2/47) by 18 runs via D/L