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

'Dhawan butchered us' - Ontong

  shares 18

"Highlights package" is how the South Africa A captain, Justin Ontong, described Shikhar Dhawan's record-breaking 248 in the final league game of the A team tri-series in Pretoria that put up an imposing target of 434 for the home side. Ontong said they were "butchered" by Dhawan's batting, but added they could have won the game had someone batted through during the chase.

"Dhawan summed up conditions quickly," Ontong said. "Every shot he hit found the gap or went over the fielders. It was like watching a highlights package. He hit so many good shots, it's hard to pick out one that stood out. There were a few sixes that went into the construction site.

"It was probably the best one-day innings I've seen. But I am also really proud of the boys. We showed some character when we were batting and if someone batted through, we could have won the game."

India A won the toss and were 161 for 1 at the halfway stage. But on a flat pitch and on a ground with short boundaries, Dhawan seamlessly switched gears to tear into the bowling, reaching his double century with just over 10 overs still left to play.

"There was nothing the bowlers could do," Ontong said. "They were bowling the lines and lengths they wanted to be bowling and he just hit them off those lines and lengths."

Ontong conceded that the South Africa players were left in despair by the innings, but coach Vincent Barnes reminded the team of the match when South Africa had successfully chased down Australia's 434 in Johannesburg.

"There was a bit of humour at the lunch break, because that's what you need in situations like that, " he said. "Some of the boys had their heads down but the coach, Vincent Barnes, came and said a few words. He told us that he was part of that 438 game and that if we put on partnerships we could get there."

South Africa came close to the target after opening batsman Reeza Hendricks and Vaughn van Jaarsveld scored centuries to keep the team interested till the last few overs.

"It was a flat wicket with nothing in it and for 80% of the time we chased really well. It's not every day you get two guys scoring a hundred and the team is still on the losing side, Actually, its not everyday you get four hundreds in a one-day match.

"Reeza and Vaughn scored two very special hundreds and our bowlers were exposed to international players of top quality. When you play ODI cricket, you will sometimes play on flat wickets, although this one was maybe a little flatter than you get elsewhere and the outfield was also very quick."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 12, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Dhawan's 248 off 150 balls is a feat in endurance of power hitting sustained over such a long duration. SA bowling was not that poor. It was sheer brilliance that carried Dhawan. In the international cricket matches, Dhawan is only the 3rd batsman to achieve a double ton feat & that too with the highest score. It was a pity that this match was not televised for the world wide audience to see such a "once in a lifetime" innings! Bravo Dhawan- what an innings! It is not that easy to overshadow Pujara's century but it did. All praise to the SA team to put up such a courageous fight after being totally demoralized. Reeza & Vaughn deserve equally high praise for their centuries. I am sure the Indian team also got a share of their frustration. It was the late heroics of another debutant Pandey that helped India out of trouble not to speak of Bunny who went Reeza back to the pavilion. What a match it was of awesome power & skillful batting. A combined total of 750 runs is best ever in ODI!

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    great show by dhavan. is he going to be another Lara in making. hope he will pass this score on a flat bed and small grounds

    good show.wishing him good luck

  • POSTED BY naren1983 on | August 13, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Now its become the habit for Hosts to facilitate with flat tracks for A teams & warm-ups matches to visitors. So the real test is not conducted anywhere. Suddenly international matches played in green top and Indians seem tough to handle. The same is happening everywhere. All boards should sit and decide the pitches used for warm-ups and A teams. Then the quality and spirit will increase

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Some one is saying it was a flat wicket and should be investigated and some are saying since it was a flat wicket hence no big achievement for Dhawan... But out 100 only once we get to see matches like this whr both the teams scores nearly 400... isn't that good for cricket that once in a while we r entertained like this!! and let this be a flat wicket but scoring over 200 runs needs great deal of batsmanship.. there are many better batsmen who would hv played on similar wkt but hw many scored over 200 runs?? So hats off to Sikhar..well done..

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 13, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @cricketmaan does dis match come on tv? If which channel???

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | August 13, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Well done to both teams and to Shikar for the entertaiment. But SA is smart, they prepared a flat track and bowled ordinarily to deny any good workout for Dhawan and he wont get such conditions or bowling during the SA tour. But that is for another day, for now just enjoy the moment

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | August 13, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @Nampally though I like your comments mostly I think I need to correct you here, this is not an ODI, this is a List A match between 'A' teams of SA and India.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    well done saffers ! though u lost the match, u won the hearts. but what's the point preparing these belters of the track. so much demoralising for the bowlers. CSA should be penalised for this mayhem.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    @ xylo - Like Indians dont know it, right? Of Course SA won't let Indian players prepare for SA tour. But off late in India we have developed venues where we can get similar conditions such as Jaipur, Mumbai and Dharamshala. So if India is serious about Test matches, they don't need to go SA to prepare, they can do it in India as well. Its all about how seriously India takes test matches.

    I heard they are arguing to make it a 2 tests and 7 ODIs series...that tells you the story. Sighhhhhhh!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Dhawan's blitzkrieg augurs well for the Indian team's test tour to SA later on. It was only recently that both Pakistan and Sri Lanka had shown that if the new ball attack of Steyn, Philander and Morkel is dented for about 20 odd overs initially, things become a lot easier as the South Africans lack quality spinners(even if they had one, Indians would plunder him!!!) and are not adept at reverse swing. The likes of Younis Khan, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Sangakara, and Samaraweera reaped the benefits of the new ball being negated. It is only when they take early wickets that they can do real damage like bowling out the Aussies and Pakistanis for 40 -50 odd runs.Dhawan along with Vijay would therefore need to ensure that they stay there for 20odd overs.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 12, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Dhawan's 248 off 150 balls is a feat in endurance of power hitting sustained over such a long duration. SA bowling was not that poor. It was sheer brilliance that carried Dhawan. In the international cricket matches, Dhawan is only the 3rd batsman to achieve a double ton feat & that too with the highest score. It was a pity that this match was not televised for the world wide audience to see such a "once in a lifetime" innings! Bravo Dhawan- what an innings! It is not that easy to overshadow Pujara's century but it did. All praise to the SA team to put up such a courageous fight after being totally demoralized. Reeza & Vaughn deserve equally high praise for their centuries. I am sure the Indian team also got a share of their frustration. It was the late heroics of another debutant Pandey that helped India out of trouble not to speak of Bunny who went Reeza back to the pavilion. What a match it was of awesome power & skillful batting. A combined total of 750 runs is best ever in ODI!

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    great show by dhavan. is he going to be another Lara in making. hope he will pass this score on a flat bed and small grounds

    good show.wishing him good luck

  • POSTED BY naren1983 on | August 13, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Now its become the habit for Hosts to facilitate with flat tracks for A teams & warm-ups matches to visitors. So the real test is not conducted anywhere. Suddenly international matches played in green top and Indians seem tough to handle. The same is happening everywhere. All boards should sit and decide the pitches used for warm-ups and A teams. Then the quality and spirit will increase

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Some one is saying it was a flat wicket and should be investigated and some are saying since it was a flat wicket hence no big achievement for Dhawan... But out 100 only once we get to see matches like this whr both the teams scores nearly 400... isn't that good for cricket that once in a while we r entertained like this!! and let this be a flat wicket but scoring over 200 runs needs great deal of batsmanship.. there are many better batsmen who would hv played on similar wkt but hw many scored over 200 runs?? So hats off to Sikhar..well done..

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 13, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @cricketmaan does dis match come on tv? If which channel???

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | August 13, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Well done to both teams and to Shikar for the entertaiment. But SA is smart, they prepared a flat track and bowled ordinarily to deny any good workout for Dhawan and he wont get such conditions or bowling during the SA tour. But that is for another day, for now just enjoy the moment

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | August 13, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @Nampally though I like your comments mostly I think I need to correct you here, this is not an ODI, this is a List A match between 'A' teams of SA and India.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    well done saffers ! though u lost the match, u won the hearts. but what's the point preparing these belters of the track. so much demoralising for the bowlers. CSA should be penalised for this mayhem.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    @ xylo - Like Indians dont know it, right? Of Course SA won't let Indian players prepare for SA tour. But off late in India we have developed venues where we can get similar conditions such as Jaipur, Mumbai and Dharamshala. So if India is serious about Test matches, they don't need to go SA to prepare, they can do it in India as well. Its all about how seriously India takes test matches.

    I heard they are arguing to make it a 2 tests and 7 ODIs series...that tells you the story. Sighhhhhhh!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Dhawan's blitzkrieg augurs well for the Indian team's test tour to SA later on. It was only recently that both Pakistan and Sri Lanka had shown that if the new ball attack of Steyn, Philander and Morkel is dented for about 20 odd overs initially, things become a lot easier as the South Africans lack quality spinners(even if they had one, Indians would plunder him!!!) and are not adept at reverse swing. The likes of Younis Khan, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Sangakara, and Samaraweera reaped the benefits of the new ball being negated. It is only when they take early wickets that they can do real damage like bowling out the Aussies and Pakistanis for 40 -50 odd runs.Dhawan along with Vijay would therefore need to ensure that they stay there for 20odd overs.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | August 13, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    @vidit solanki, this is the perfect time for dhawan to have come, he looked out of his depth when he first came into the indian team .....

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    Scoring on a flat wicket with short boundaries takes away the chalenge Look at the scores on both sides This is not to dilute Dhawans performance but to look at the scores in the right perspective

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | August 13, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Doesn't matter who won. Matches like these on meaningless flat pitches will eventually kill interest in the game for the true fans. There should be some investigation as to how and why this sort of pitch was prepared.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    The idea of sending this team is to get acclimatise with the SA conditions. The batsmen seem to score bucketful of runs in placid tracks and somewhere the whole process is misplaced. Don't expect such batsmen-friendly tracks for tests. Plain and simple SA has their own game plan.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Yeah, Can some one post details of this ground? Every game, the scores have been 290 or above. Must have been the flattest of pitches and what about the boundaries? 50 -60 yards?

  • POSTED BY gtr800 on | August 12, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @xylo Haha the perfect ploy! Um no I think maybe its just a crowd pleaser? 248 in any batting conditions is incredible- and SA A's attack can't be half bad if they have people like Tsostobe & so many others sitting on the bench in Tests. Not to mention Dhawan is a sub-continent player used not used to such bounce, but I guess his form in England has shown he like pace on the ball. Bring on Steyn & Philander!

  • POSTED BY xylo on | August 12, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Was this series meant to be for India to acclimatize to South African conditions before the test series? If so, this is a great ploy by South Africa. Set the Indians with false confidence, and then present them with a green wicket and unleash Steyn on them.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 12, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    It is unbelievable how he does it. It is not easy to score 248 on a dry pitch not Even that even big legends like Sachin tendulkar sehwag haven't able to score big tons! I wished that if shikhar dhawan came before to the national Indian team because if he came than he would beat all records by Virat kohlli and rohit Sharma l. Ppl couldn't recognize his talent before not even in the ipl I hope he achieves more success in the final match played by Australia and India. :D

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 12, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    It is unbelievable how he does it. It is not easy to score 248 on a dry pitch not Even that even big legends like Sachin tendulkar sehwag haven't able to score big tons! I wished that if shikhar dhawan came before to the national Indian team because if he came than he would beat all records by Virat kohlli and rohit Sharma l. Ppl couldn't recognize his talent before not even in the ipl I hope he achieves more success in the final match played by Australia and India. :D

  • POSTED BY xylo on | August 12, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Was this series meant to be for India to acclimatize to South African conditions before the test series? If so, this is a great ploy by South Africa. Set the Indians with false confidence, and then present them with a green wicket and unleash Steyn on them.

  • POSTED BY gtr800 on | August 12, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @xylo Haha the perfect ploy! Um no I think maybe its just a crowd pleaser? 248 in any batting conditions is incredible- and SA A's attack can't be half bad if they have people like Tsostobe & so many others sitting on the bench in Tests. Not to mention Dhawan is a sub-continent player used not used to such bounce, but I guess his form in England has shown he like pace on the ball. Bring on Steyn & Philander!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Yeah, Can some one post details of this ground? Every game, the scores have been 290 or above. Must have been the flattest of pitches and what about the boundaries? 50 -60 yards?

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    The idea of sending this team is to get acclimatise with the SA conditions. The batsmen seem to score bucketful of runs in placid tracks and somewhere the whole process is misplaced. Don't expect such batsmen-friendly tracks for tests. Plain and simple SA has their own game plan.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | August 13, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Doesn't matter who won. Matches like these on meaningless flat pitches will eventually kill interest in the game for the true fans. There should be some investigation as to how and why this sort of pitch was prepared.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    Scoring on a flat wicket with short boundaries takes away the chalenge Look at the scores on both sides This is not to dilute Dhawans performance but to look at the scores in the right perspective

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | August 13, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    @vidit solanki, this is the perfect time for dhawan to have come, he looked out of his depth when he first came into the indian team .....

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Dhawan's blitzkrieg augurs well for the Indian team's test tour to SA later on. It was only recently that both Pakistan and Sri Lanka had shown that if the new ball attack of Steyn, Philander and Morkel is dented for about 20 odd overs initially, things become a lot easier as the South Africans lack quality spinners(even if they had one, Indians would plunder him!!!) and are not adept at reverse swing. The likes of Younis Khan, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Sangakara, and Samaraweera reaped the benefits of the new ball being negated. It is only when they take early wickets that they can do real damage like bowling out the Aussies and Pakistanis for 40 -50 odd runs.Dhawan along with Vijay would therefore need to ensure that they stay there for 20odd overs.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    @ xylo - Like Indians dont know it, right? Of Course SA won't let Indian players prepare for SA tour. But off late in India we have developed venues where we can get similar conditions such as Jaipur, Mumbai and Dharamshala. So if India is serious about Test matches, they don't need to go SA to prepare, they can do it in India as well. Its all about how seriously India takes test matches.

    I heard they are arguing to make it a 2 tests and 7 ODIs series...that tells you the story. Sighhhhhhh!