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Pandey ton helps India A clinch tight win

India A 7 for 234 (Pandey 100*, Adams 2-16) beat South Africa A 8 for 230 (Miller 90, Adams 52, Kulkarni 4-37) by 3 wickets
Scorecard

Manish Pandey stroked his way to a nerveless, unbeaten 100 off 105 balls to help India A ace a tight chase of 231 against South Africa A in Townsville. Pandey, who is the India A captain, hit nine fours and a six to guide his team home with eight balls to spare even as wickets fell around him at regular intervals.

India A elected to field and reduced South Africa A to 3 for 35, as Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat and Hardik Pandya each got an early wicket. Theunis de Bruyn did his best to steady proceedings with 40 off 61, but his departure in the 23rd over left South Africa A 4 for 88.

David Miller (90 off 104) and Qaasim Adams (52 off 55), batting at Nos. 5 and 6, restored the innings with brisk fifties in a fifth-wicket stand of 110 off 115. However, Adams was dismissed in the 42nd over, Miller followed in the 44th, and the innings petered out towards the end, with the last six overs yielding just 24 runs. Kulkarni was the standout bowler, with figures of 4 for 37 off his ten.

Set 231 to win, India A started with a decent opening stand of 41 between Faiz Fazal and Karun Nair. Both were dismissed by Andile Phehlukwayo in the tenth over, and Mandeep Singh departed five overs later for 14. As his team-mates continued to squander starts, Pandey kept the score ticking along. Kulkarni, at No. 9, chipped in with a cameo of 23* off 26, featuring two fours and a six, to impart useful impetus to the closing stages of the chase.

Fittingly, though, it was Pandey who hit the winning runs with a four that brought up his century and gave India A their first success in the Quadrangular A-team series.