Bad light denies India and New Zealand victories
India Emerging Players had to settle for a draw against South Africa Emerging Players due to bad light ending play at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane when they were four runs away from victory with four wickets in hand. It was an anti-climactic end to a spirited chase as Ajinkya Rahane's 109 off 122 balls and Ambati Rayudu's unbeaten half-century led them to 278 for 6 in 55.1 overs, at which point the umpires decided light was too poor to carry on. Neither team was awarded points after the stalemate, though South Africa copped a penalty of five points for a poor over-rate that left them five overs short of the target, potentially costing India the game.
That India had a shot at victory was down to a sporting declaration from the South Africans earlier in the day. Resuming at their overnight score of 122 for 1, South Africa piled on the runs thanks to opener Reeza Hendricks and captain Stiaan van Zyl, both of whom made tons. van Zyl was the more adventurous, making his runs at a strike-rate of 78.52. Hendricks remained unbeaten on 125 when the declaration came at 291 for 3, setting India 282 to win.
Opener S Anirudha failed for the second time in the match, but captain Shikhar Dhawan stroked a quick 36 to launch the chase. The Tiwarys, Manoj and Saurabh, then supported Rahane as India made steady progress, before Rayudu opened up. Rahane and CM Gautam were dismissed off successive balls, but Iqbal Abdulla, in Rayudu's company, ensured the chase remained on track, before light faded.
The events at the Peter Burge Oval had a striking similarity to the ones that unfolded at the Allan Border Field. Light once again played spoilsport, with New Zealand A ten short of the target of 353 set by Australian Institute of Sport, with three wickets remaining.
Resuming at 180 for 3, AIS motored along to add 208 runs in 32.5 overs on the final day. Alex Keath scored a century while Glenn Maxwell was dismissed ten short, before Tom Beaton struck 79 off only 58 balls to set up the declaration at 388 for 8. That meant New Zealand A needed 353, a target they pursued with purpose thanks to BJ Watling's 139. While Watling took his time, his partners went after the bowling, with Daniel Flynn and Dean Brownlie making 38 and 41 respectively at better than run-a-ball. Luke Woodcock, coming in at No. 6, slammed 52 off 32 balls as New Zealand raised their scoring-rate, and even the loss of three quick wickets for the addition of 19 runs - including Watling and Woodcock - did not hamper the pace. However, the elements once again had the final say, and this time New Zealand A had only themselves to blame - they were slapped a penalty of two points for being two overs short.
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