Emerging Players Tournament, Brisbane, 7th day July 29, 2009

India cruise to victory in crucial tie

Cricinfo staff

India Emerging Players 5 for 177 (Rahane 61, Kohli 51, Duval 3-49) beat Australia 176 (Quiney 55, Faulkner 38, Mishra 2-21, Badrinath 2-13) by five wickets

A disciplined bowling effort and a 103-run opening stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli set up a crucial victory for India in an Emerging Players Tournament match against Australia at Brisbane.

Put in to bat, Australia lost regular wickets as the Indian bowlers kept a tight leash on the scoring. Opener Robert Quiney and James Faulkner combined for the only major partnership of the innings, adding 67 for the second wicket. Australia were unable to get the Indian bowling away and eventually folded for 176 in 47 overs. Legspinner Amit Mishra and part-timer S Badrinath picked up two wickets each.

India's opening duo of Rahane and Kohli virtually sealed victory with their opening stand; both batsmen struck fifties. Australia struck back with a flurry of wickets as India lost five for 48, but it proved too late for the home side as India cruised to victory with 22 overs to spare.

South Africa Emerging Players 7 for 263 (Kuhn 139*, Worker 2-41) beat New Zealand Emerging Players 8 for 262 (Fulton 90, Theron 2-40, Elgar 2-41) by three wickets

It was a brilliant solo effort from Heino Kuhn as South Africa continued their winning ways in the tournament, pulling off a last-ball win against New Zealand Emerging Players at the Albury Oval. The right-hand wicketkeeper-batsman's quickfire century at the top of the innings ensured South Africa held sway for most part of the chase.

Choosing to bat, captain Peter Fulton led the way for New Zealand stroking a fluent fifty. A second-wicket partnership of 71 with Colin de Grandhomme had laid the platform for a big score, before Dean Elgar struck two quick blows. Even though Juan Theron helped South Africa claw back with two lower-order wickets, it was Anaru Kitchen's lightning 40 off 19 balls that pushed New Zealand past the 250-mark.

Even as wickets fell around him during the chase, Kuhn continued undeterred. He displayed confident strokeplay as he powered his way to a hundred. The middle order failed to capitalise on their starts, leaving Kuhn to anchor the innings. He stayed unbeaten during his 134-ball knock, hitting 10 fours and two sixes as South Africa registered another memorable victory.

The win keeps India in the race for a spot in the finals; a defeat in this match would have led to their elimination.

Both Australia and India are on six points with three wins each and a game to play. In the final league games, Australia face off against South Africa while India play New Zealand. South Africa, who have recorded seven wins out of seven, have already qualified for the finals.