Ishan Kishan's fluent fifty powers India A to win

Ishan Kishan scored a fluent 24-ball 55 as India A beat South Africa A by two wickets in the rain-hit second unofficial ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Ishan Kishan scored a brisk 24-ball 55 in India A's run-chase.   -  Special Arrangement

The visiting South Africa-A still hasn’t found a way to rein in the left-handed batsmen from the opposition. For the second time in the series, the South Africans were tormented by a south paw as Ishan Kishan's brilliant innings of 55 runs dashed its hopes for a win in the second unofficial one-day at the Sports Hub on Saturday.

Chasing 163 for a win, India stuttered to a two-wicket win with an over remaining and Ishan playing the defining knock. 

Ishan walked in when his side was in a spot of bother at 57 for three in the ninth over while chasing 163 for a win. The diminutive batsman was on song from the moment he clubbed left-arm spinner George Linde over long on for a massive six.

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The Jharkhand batsman didn’t had to improvise as the predictable line of attack of South Africa A bowlers gave him enough scoring opportunities. A couple of swept fours by Ishan off Fountin and an 18-run over from a wayward Junior Dala eased the pressure. Captain Manish Pandey only had to rotate the strike as Ishan tore the attack to shreds. The fourth wicket stand between Ishan and Pandey added 58 runs which brought the target within reach. However, both Manish and Ishan perished while trying to play the big shots. India-A suffered a mid-innings slump when it lost three wickets for four runs but the experienced Krunal Panday remained unbeaten with 23 to guide his team to win.

Earlier, sharp showers in the morning and damp outfield reduced the contest to 21-over affair. Put in to bat, the South African innings meandered along until it was given a late impetus by George Linde, who scored a 25-ball 52 not out, to take his side to a competitive total. The highlight of Linde’s knock was the towering five sixes he hit and the medium pacers bore the brunt.  Linde and Klaasen (31), added 52-runs for the fifth wicket as the South Africans amassed 72 runs in the last six overs to finish strongly. But, the total proved inadequate in the end.

Brief scores: South Africa A: 162 for 5 in 21 overs (George Linde 52 not out, Temba Bavuma 40, Heinrich Klaasen 31, Axar Patel 1/19) lost to India A: 163 for 8 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 55, Anmolpreet Singh 30, Krunal Pandya 23 not out, Junior Dala 2/25).