Samarth and Nair script comeback win

India A 276 (Samarth 77, Iyer 65, Piedt 4-70, Paterson 3-48) and 226 for 4 (Nair 90, Samarth 55) beat South Africa A 322 (Cook 98, Markram 74, Nadeem 4-118, Saini 3-66) and 177 (Cook 70, Rajpoot 3-15, Nadeem 3-47) by six wickets

After losing the first unofficial Test by 235 runs and conceding a first-innings lead of 46 in the second, India A hit back and chased down 224 to square the series in Potchefstroom. Opener R Samarth's second fifty of the match and captain Karun Nair's 90 helped India A complete the chase in 62.3 overs.

South Africa A had started on a positive note, with Stephen Cook and Aiden Markram adding 167 for the first wicket - the highest partnership of the match - after the hosts had opted to bat. Cook, who was dropped for the four-Test series in England, strengthened his case for a return, following up his match-winning 120 in the first unofficial Test with twin fifties in this match. Markram, another contender for the opening spot in the senior team, gave a good account of himself with 74 in the first innings but managed only 19 in the second.

Omphile Ramela, who came in at No. 3, also made a fifty in the first dig, which added to South Africa's 322. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was the pick of the bowlers for India A, finishing with 4 for 118.

In response, India's A top three also made strong starts but they lost their last eight wickets for 95 to be bowled out for 276. Samarth was the visitors' top scorer with 77 off 113 balls, including 13 fours.

South Africa A then collapsed to 177 all out in their second innings with seamer Ankit Rajpoot and Nadeem sharing six wickets between them. Cook carried his bat, digging in for 70 off 196 balls. He ended the series as the top scorer with 320 runs in four innings - 126 runs more than the second-placed Markram.

India A lost Chatterjee and Shreyas Iyer early in the chase, but Samarth and Nair put the side back on track with a 74-run stand. Samarth was then dismissed by offspinner Dane Piedt for 55 and Nair fell with his side two away from victory, but Ankit Bawne and Hanuma Vihari applied the finishing touches with six wickets to spare.