South Africa A v Australia A, tri-series, Pretoria August 6, 2013

Marsh, Coulter-Nile star in high-scoring chase


Australia A 296 for 7 (Marsh 136*, Coulter-Nile 62, Finch 62) beat South Africa A 295 for 8 (R Hendricks 75, Ontong 71, Henriques 4-61) by 3 wickets

Australia A claimed first points in the tri-angular series against South Africa A and India A in a high-scoring chase. After conceding heavily on a flat wicket, Australia A may have had some concerns but Shaun Marsh batted through their innings, survived a middle-order wobble and shared a 133-run seventh-wicket stand with Nathan Coulter-Nile to ensure Australia A chased 297 with an over to spare. 

South Africa A started well. Knights' team-mates Rilee Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks scored 11 boundaries in the first 10 overs and posted 79 after 15 before the first wicket fell. Rossouw became the first of Moises Henriques' quartet of scalps. Hendricks was joined by another franchise colleague, Dean Elgar, and the pair put on 47 runs for the second wicket. 

Hendricks looked set to bring up triple figures but was dismissed on 75, leaving it to the middle order to build on the foundation. Justin Ontong took over from there and put on small stands with all the rest, including 57 with Vaughn van Jaarsveld for fourth wicket, but was prevented from launching by Glenn Maxwell who held up his end well. Ontong was dismissed off the last ball of the innings but South Africa A's bowlers would still have felt they had enough to defend. 

Aaron Finch and Marsh had other ideas. They scored at eight runs an over for the first nine and their opening stand was worth 111. Just as South Africa A would have thought it was getting away from them, they struck five times in the next ten overs to swing the advantage their way. 

Kyle Abbott accounted for Alex Doolan and Nic Maddinson while Beuran Hendricks also struck twice to leave Australia A at 150 for 6 in the 31st over. And that was where South Africa A's attack would have looked to the clubhouse and wished they could have asked Makhaya Ntini, who was visiting to watch his neighbour Ayabulela Gqamane play, to show them how to nip out a tail. 

Marsh and Coulter-Nile were unstoppable and by the time the latter was dismissed, Australia A needed 13 runs off 17 balls to win. Heartening for South Africa A will be the return of Rusty Theron from a stress fracture. He went wicketless in his nine overs but went for under six runs an over.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2013, 0:18 GMT

    ZCF Outkast - heres the stats for you - Bodibe averages 26/21/21 in the three formats at a poor strike rate, Mosethle averages 24/19/6 in the three formats at poor strike rates, Thami average 29/21/23 at poor strike rates, Vilas averages 43/30/43 and much better strike rates, De Kock averages 55/30/33 at better strike rates, AB is rated the number one batsmen in the world need I say more. Unless you adjusting for PDI quotas theres no logic to your selections. Gqamane and Bavuma definitely derserve a place based on the stats and are therefore in the side. The good thing about cricket is that numbers don't lie. Tsotsobe is in because he can do the job and not because he is of colour. Move on from the past will ya! (stats from ESPNCRICINFO - check it out.)

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    Aussies seem to struggle against spin like SA. Perhaps we should add Harmer to the squad since he already has their number from the last game. The run of the mill pace attack isnt working. India A's part time spinners just pulled off a heist against Australia A.

  • Tony on August 8, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Should have invited Ireland to make it more interesting.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Where can we get live telecast of all these nice matches ?

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Marsh,Paine(Backup for Haddin),Maddinson into the test squad.Please.Somebody get rid of Matt Wade.For Christs sakes.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Marktc - Thami can't even make the lions one-day team and is a poor finisher. Vilas topped the ram slam t20 stats last year - check it out. At number 6 we need a finisher not a test player.

  • Mark on August 7, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    ZCF, your argument would hold more water had Abbott not taken two wickets and Gqamane none. I am not saying Gqamane should not ave played, as I agree with his being in the team, but don't knock Abbott who had a better return,

    Also, I fail to see where De Kock is the cronic failure as he has not really had a decent run at top level. Where I do agree, is Thami should be keeping in the A side.

  • Matt on August 7, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    It's a crying shame that Marsh can't get his first class mojo going. He obviously has so much talent, but he has only produced it once in the first class arena. His test debut against Sri Lanka was amazing

  • Graham on August 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Cant work out what goes through the mind of batsman, Finch and Marsh have been abysmal in first class cricket but as soon as they play a short form game against good oppostion they become outstanding players. These two blokes are exceptional at the one-day game but so mediocre at the longer version. Is it mental or technique? And if it is a technique problem surely you could get these blokes out in one-day cricket.

  • Ryan on August 7, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Why is Shaun Marsh so good at limited overs cricket??? His FC average stinks! Yet his list A and t20 averages are great.

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