The fielding from both sides was sloppy as catches were put down fairly regularly but in the end the three catches which South Africa-A dropped off Shivam Dube cost them dear and the match.
Dube, profited from his reprieves, to carve a game changing innings of 79 not out (60b, 3x4,6x6). His hard hitting knock and an unbroken 121-run seventh wicket stand with an equally belligerent Axar Patel 60 not out (36b, 6x4, 3x6) was the cornerstone of India-A's emphatic 69-run win in the opening unofficial one-day match at the Sports Hub here on Thursday.
Dropped on 3, 13 and 66, Shivam Dube's charge saw India A amass 327 for six in a match which was reduced to 47 overs due to wet outfield. The South African's conceded 105 runs in the last eight overs as both Dube and Axar cut loose.
Read: Confident India aims at a cleansweep
The visitors were in control when left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin tied down the run-rate in the middle overs, until the Southpaws decided to unleash their shots. After Shubman Gill's blazing start, India-A lost three quick wickets only for Manish Pandey (39) and Ishan Kishan (37) to repair the damage with a 75-run stand for the fifth wicket. They both departed in quick succession to give South Africa the advantage. However, profligate bowling by medium pacers Junior Dala and B. Hendrick in the death overs was easy fodder for both Axar and Dube who muscled the ball over the fence with ridiculous ease.
The South Africans needed a bright start from its openers but Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks were circumspect. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya did the intial damage to derail the chase. Hendricks (110), who rode his luck, and Zondol (30) added 66 runs for the fourth wicket.
But the run-rate kept increasing and it was all over when Hendricks holed out after reaching his century. Heinrich Klassen struck a few lusty blows to minimise the damage.
Brief scores: India A 327 for 6 in 47 overs (Shivam Dube 79, Axar Patel 60, Shubman Gill 46, Manish Pandey 39, Ishan Kishan 37, Bjorn Fortuin 2/40, Beuran Hendricks 2/89) beat South Africa A 258 all out in 45 overs (Reeza Hendricks 110, H Klaasen 58, Y Chahal 5/47, Axar Patel 2/39). MoM: Axar Patel.
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