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Debutants Heazlett, Grant fire NPS to 17-run win

National Performance Squad 8 for 243 (Heazlett 101, Nair 40, Phangiso 2-46, Phehlukwayo 2-49) beat South Africa A 226 (Adams 78, Magala 35, Grant 4-31, Moody 3-44) by 17 runs
Scorecard

Sam Heazlett, David Grant and David Moody shone on their List A debuts as Australia's National Performance Squad (NPS) prevailed over South Africa A by 17 runs in the first game of the Quadrangular A-Team One-Day Series.

Heazlett struck 101 off 87 balls to steer NPS to 8 for 243 after they were asked to bat at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville. Grant (4 for 31) and Moody (3 for 44) then ran through South Africa's batting order to bowl them out for 226 in 48.4 overs.

Heazlett had walked in at the fall of the first wicket when Caleb Jewell was dismissed for 20, after he had added 43 for the opening wicket with Hilton Cartwright. Thereafter, it was a Heazlett show all along. Right-arm pacer Andile Phehlukwayo's double-strike in the 16th over reduced NPS to 3 for 57, before Heazlett partially steadied the innings through a 49-run fourth-wicket stand with Matthew Short. Heazlett's second significant stand of the match came with Arjun Nair, with whom he added 91 for the sixth wicket. Heazlett was run out with 33 balls remaining, but captain Sean Abbott's cameo ensured a decent finish to the NPS innings.

South Africa A's bowlers shared the wickets equally. Phehlukwayo and Aaron Phangiso took two wickets each, while Dane Paterson, Sisanda Magala and Qaasim Adams took a wicket apiece.

Adams came good with the bat too, but waged a lone battle. Captain Heino Kuhn had ground it out for 47 balls for his 28, but when he fell, South Africa A were on the mat at 5 for 71. That would soon become 7 for 88. Adams and Magala combined for a 99-run stand for the eighth wicket to give their side a brief passage of cheer, until both batsmen were dismissed in the space of 10 deliveries. Adams had made 78 off 83, with seven fours and three sixes, while Magala's 59-ball 35 was laced with three fours. Thereafter, brief contributions from Phangiso and Paterson, South Africa A's Nos. 10 and 11, took them closer, but not close enough.

The second match of the series will take place on Sunday when Australia A take on India A at the same venue.