South Africa A v India A, Tri-series, Pretoria August 12, 2013

Dhawan's record 248 takes India A to final

90

India A 433 for 3 (Dhawan 248, Pujara 109*) beat South Africa A 394 (Van Jaarsveld 108, Hendricks 106, Pandey 4-76) by 39 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shikhar Dhawan began with Mo Farah-esque strides and ended with an Usain Bolt-like burst to plunder 248 off 150 balls - the second-highest List A score ever and the record for an A-team - out of India A's giddying 433 for 3, in the virtual semi-final against South Africa A in Pretoria. South Africa, in reply, made the most of a flat pitch and short boundaries to come close to the target and only ran out of steam towards the end to lose by 39 runs.

India had chosen to bat and the innings started with Dhawan driving one straight down the ground. A flurry of boundaries helped Dhawan and his new partner at the top, M Vijay, scoot to 91 in the 12th over, but as Pujara joined Dhawan after Vijay was caught behind for 40, there was a quiet period as the run rate dropped to below seven. It was merely the quiet before the violence.

Dhawan arrived at the century-mark off 86 balls with a straight-driven boundary in the 27th over, and found his nitro booster to rocket from there on. In the 28th over, he smashed his first six, off Juan Theron, and immediately followed it with another. The projected team total was constantly being readjusted to higher levels as Dhawan kept finding the boundaries in an unprecedented attack. His second hundred came at almost double the rate as his first, taking 46 balls, as he smashed his way to becoming only the third Indian to record a double-century in limited-overs cricket after Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. At the other end, Cheteshwar Pujara had quietly brought up his own fifty off 54 balls.

Dhawan would not have got his double century had Rusty Theron held on to a chance off the bowling of Roelof van der Merwe when Dhawan was on 154, but with 10 overs still left when he got past that landmark, the 11-year-old record of the highest List A score of 268 looked well within his reach. He fell 20 runs short of it to finish second best. Pujara's unbeaten 109 off 97 seemed mild in comparison. The two batsmen scored 285 runs together in 33.2 overs, 198 of which came from Dhawan's bat.

South Africa's bowling unit also entered record books as this was the first instance of five bowlers giving away more than 60 runs each in a List A match, but they were not the only ones to suffer. India's bowlers were meted out the same treatment as South Africa openers Reeze Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw rampaged their way to 121 by the 13th over and a repeat of South Africa's senior side's memorable night seven years ago didn't appear improbable.

A couple of quick wickets fell to the spinners, but Hendricks hammered a 75-ball hundred to take South Africa past 200 in the 25th over. The ball frequently disappeared to the adjacent net-ball courts as South Africa remained abreast with the required rate.

After the dismissal of Hendricks, the required rate went over 10-an-over for the first time in the 32nd over, but Vaughn van Jaarsveld, with helpful cameos from Justin Ontong and Roelof van der Merwe, kept up the hope. Van Jaarsveld fell soon after reaching to his century, top-edging an Ishwar Pandey slower delivery to mid-off, effectively ending South Africa's challenge, as India mopped up the remaining batsmen quickly. However, on a batsman's day, Dhawan's knock proved to be the difference.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tvumpire.com on August 15, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    @ TommytuckerSaffa. Actually SA will be without any confident because of these as well as the defeats from SL. It will be a total disaster for SA in the coming series. Wait for that.

  • CricketFanIndUS on August 14, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    Congratulations Dhawan!!! Although it came on a flat track, we are talking the highest Country A score in ODIs, the highest List A score form an Indian and the second highest List A score ever. I am sure there have been many flat tracks before for List A matches. I am not sure for how long the stats have been kept for List A matches. Add the test match records from his debut match earlier in the year to these records, we have an exciting opener gracing our team. Cricket is fortunate to have him after the loss of the great cricketer Sehwag.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 14, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    This is excellent news and exactly were SA want to be. After this knock on a total Road. The Indians will now be overconfident when they play the test series here and get rolled. Sachin's forced retirement - a horror show.

  • dummy4fb on August 13, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Please take this in proper context. This was a batters paradise with a flat track and short boundaries. 4 batsmen scored centuries and India's score of 433 was almost overhauled.While in no way trying to take away from Dhawan's achievement, he's got a long way to go to be mentioned in the same breath as Viru who is an icon.

  • Harmony111 on August 13, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    As expected, a few jealous or pessimistic, defeatist fans are trying to pull down this magnificent knock by Dhawan. Each time an Indian does something special then it is always due to the conditions, luck, poor umpiring etc etc. It is never due to the skill of the player according to these chaps. Grace is something these ppl can never show in their words. When Dhawan got that debut 100 some of these ppl said that wait till he goes to Eng. He went to Eng and scored 2 more 100s and then these ppl said wait till he goes to SA. He comes to SA and scores how many? 248. Now these ppl again shift the goalpost and say wait till he faces Steyn & co. Great logic. Keep asking a man to take tough and tougher tasks and cos he will eventually fail at some point then go back to your original assertion of "See !!!".

    Note that Maxwell & others are scoring runs vs an utterly weak Ind bowling attack while Dhawan is scoring MORE RUNS AT BETTER SR vs MUCH BETTER ATTACKS.

  • rick333 on August 13, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Well Pujara seems to be a perfect replacement for Dravid. Everytime Dravid scores a brilliant century, it is eclipsed by even magnificent feat at the other end. Dejavu all over again with Pujara

  • Nampally on August 13, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    @Naresh28: I agree with your choice of 5 bowlers for the Final - Pandey, Unadkat, Nadeem, Rasool & Binny. In fact Dhawan & Raina are the most economical bowlers in their part time capacity. So they can be used effectively. These 5 happen to be the best of the poor Indian bowling. Rayudu will replace Rahane & possibly Rohit will replace Vijay, from this match. Rest of the batting will remain unchanged. It will be a tough match to win unless Indian bowlers bowl at 6 runs/over or better. The Aussies have Maxwell & Marsh are in great batting form + a string of pace bowlers + a leg spinner Ahmad, all very economical. It would have been nice to have Mishra in the XI on this tailor made batting wkt. A wrist leg spinner can be useful with flight variations & greater spin+ googlies. Pretoria ground appears to be a bowlers Nightmare!

  • Capricorn60 on August 13, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    However nostalgic some Indian fans seem to be in wanting to see Sehwag, Gambhir or Yuvraj back in the team [Test or ODI's], I think their time has sadly gone! They all have had form & fitness problems in recent years whilst Yuvi has had to battle his illness too. The young guns who have come in, have brought in their hunger & youthful exuberance to the team - doing well not only with bat & ball but have even transformed the fielding almost instantly from one extreme of being pathetic/laughable to the other of probably now having the best fielding unit when compared to their rivals. So it would be quite a backward step in reverting to our aforementioned veterans but we should look forward in sticking with youth under the guidance of MSD in building a squad for the 2015 WC & beyond!

  • dummy4fb on August 13, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    This is a delibrate plot by CSA to prepare flat tracks for this A series and grassy tracks for real series because they know that many of these india a players are going to play in the real series and they do not want them to get any experience.

  • dummy4fb on August 13, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    India should look to replace Raina and slot Sehwag into the middle order