South Africa A v India A, Tri-series, Pretoria August 9, 2013

Batsmen set up comfortable win for India A

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 309 for 5 (Dhawan 85, Rohit 65, Raina 60, Rayudu 57) beat South Africa A 258 for 5 (Elgar 84, van Jaarsveld 69, Rasool 2-47) by 18 runs (D/L)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A day after choking from a winning position against Australia A, India A's batsmen responded with a savaging of the South Africa A attack in Pretoria, helping the team register its first win in the tri-series. South Africa were set a difficult chase of 310 in a match reduced to 38 overs by the rain and they were behind the Duckworth-Lewis target when the rains came a second time in the 35th over of the innings.

After India were put in to bat, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma added another big partnership to their nascent yet burgeoning success as an opening pair, and Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu stepped up the charge even further, as 141 runs came in the last 13 overs after a slight wobble in the middle.

Dhawan blazed away at the start, hitting four successive fours off Beuran Hendricks in the second over of the match. By the time Rohit got off the mark off his fifth delivery, Dhawan had already zoomed to 30, cover-driving and cutting powerfully. Rohit picked up pace after a slow start to make a run-a-ball 65. Dhawan's 85 came off 67 balls, and India A had reached 140 inside 20 overs, when he fell to the offspin of South Africa A captain Justin Ontong, who also dismissed Rohit soon after.

Cheteshwar Pujara could not get going on this trip to southern Africa yet again, and suddenly, India A were 168 for 3. Raina and Rayudu ensured there was no letting up on the scoring rate though, putting on 89 in just under 10 overs. Raina's 60 took only 34 balls, while Rayudu was not too far behind, making 57 off 38.

Even as the duo fell towards the end, Dinesh Karthik made sure India A would not stall as they had at the death against Australia A. He hit the fast bowler Kyle Abbott for successive sixes in the last over as India A cleared the 300-mark comfortably.

The two previous matches in Pretoria has been high-scoring ones and South Africa A's openers also set about the chase positively. Rilee Rossouw made his intentions clear when he smashed a four and a six off Mohammed Shami in the third over of the innings, helping the team to rack up 58 in the first eight overs. Pujara introduced spin at both ends from the ninth over and it was Parvez Rasool who made an immediate impact, picking up both the openers in his second over.

The wickets put South Africa A's charge on hold as Dean Elgar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld spent a few quite overs. The required rate shot above 10 an over in the 20th over, but Elgar and van Jaarsveld kept the hopes for a late push towards victory with a century stand. More than 100 were required off the last eight when van Jaarsveld finally decided to make a dash for the target, smashing Shami for two fours and a six. But he fell to Shahbaz Nadeem in the very next over.

South Africa A lost two more wickets in the next two overs, and when the rains came to end the match, they were well behind the D/L target.

Ontong rued the advent of rain, but admitted his bowlers lacked some discipline early on. "We had four more overs and needed around 50 runs. Anything is possible and on this wicket I believed we were still in with a good chance," he said. "I think we had a bad start with the bowling, too many loose balls upfront got them off to a flyer and put us on the back foot," he continued. "To chase 300 runs in 38 overs was always going to be a tough ask but Deano (Elgar) and Vaughn (van Jaarsveld) played very nicely. In the end it wasn't enough."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    its glad to see raina amongst run scorers. he is hard working and applies 100%. hope he overcomes the problem of scoring in alien conditions.

  • uma on August 11, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta, you are right to some extent. yes he is trying to prove as ODI player; and that adds pressure to him. first he should cement his test spot in which already performing. play in ODIs with out pressure for performance.

    secondly, u never see him much of in ODIs. no one knows what miracles or menace he can do in ODIs. so its not right to tag him too early. even he may have a bit lower strike rate, but he may provide stability to the batting order. he got best avg as List A player. india have good hitters like dhawan,dhoni and raina. kohli is good anchor to innings and step up gear at end. pujara could also join kohli for the good of indian batting.

  • Android on August 10, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan: whilst I appreciate your sentiment, Pujara may not fit into MSD's long term plans because of his fitness issues re: dodgy knee. We've seen how MSD has concentrated on guys who are fit, and results have shown. Pujara seems to be a class act, but much like VVS, he may not have a fruitful ODI career. Hopefully I would be proved wrong

  • sri on August 10, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    @sweetspot You are absolutely spot on . I would give Pujara atleast 10 ODI chances (not just A tours) and wouldn't bother even if he doesn't make them count. For those who think he cannot adapt i would suggest you to watch that second innings in that last test match against Aussies at home. All batsmen including sachin and oppositions batsmen struggled but Pujara batted as if he was batting on other pitch. He is our long term prospect and we must continue to invest on him for good returns in 2015 WC.

    Also Happy to see Rayudu performing overseas. He should be tried in tests too. Disappointed that our young bowlers didn't make the most.

  • Senthil on August 10, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Pujara shouldn't become the sacrificial goat here because of his ODI performance or lack of it. His class is there for everyone to see, and is not able to stand out because a lot of Indian batsmen are doing well at this point in time. He is a safety for sure, when things might get tricky in India's middle order. It is scary how solid India's batting reserve looks, and fans shouldn't get lost in the idea that everyone will perform all the time. Good to see Raina getting his due - some time in the top order, and not surprising that his strike rate is fantastic. Hopefully the doubters will take some rest. It's also chemistry that counts and Rayudu and Raina seem to compliment each other very well.

  • Krishna on August 10, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    After his successful stint at captaincy for MI, one would have expected Rohit to be given the mantle of captaincy. He is already showing two encouraging traits - consistency and an intention to stay at the crease. If this is rewarded with captaincy, I am sure he will convert those 60s into 100s. As MSD had always averred, Rohit is a special talent and needs to be nuurtured and treasured. Giving captaincy to Pujara did not make any sense.Blooding Pujara for the shorter format itself is a zany step. He excels as a test player - let him be. Tehre are several other deserving ODI players - let them break in and add to the burgeoning bench strength. I think the selectors goofed. Dhawa, Raina and Rayudu seem to be doing well against A sides. But will they or can they produce the same kind of form against the A listers like Dteyn, Morkel and Stotsobe? It would be interesting.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Cheteshwar pujara has struggled in past few games but that can happen with any batsman. But in the same note i wonder what makes ppl so confident that he's got the technique to survive in every format. Agreed he played well in the home season in familiar conditions, but equally note worthy is his forgettable SA tour in 2010. So b4 declaring him to be technically accomplished,let him make some runs abroad.

  • Kailash on August 10, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Previously Indians were doing well only on Indian pitches. They were not able to play on bouncy fast pitches in countries like England, SA, West Indies. That seems to have changed. Have the Indians learnt to play well away from home or are we likely to see the breakdown soon?

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    At last, Suresh Raina has proved why he's in the team in both matches. With Kohli, Dhoni and Jadeja to some extent Raina can provide stability to the Indian middle order and has the ability to finish off matches. I would love to see him bat higher up the order may be at no.4.His off spin and fielding are an asset to the team.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Many are wondering why Pujara was given the Captaincy for this tour. Answer is simple. If any one else is the India Captain in the short format, Pujara will be benched to give some consoling company to Rahane! The selectors have no doubt about Pujara to play Tests. But, probably want to see, how he performs, in ODIs. This is the only approach, they probably found, to ensure that!

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