Unofficial ODI series: Dhawan shines for India A before rain pushes match to reserve day

Shikhar Dhawan played an unbeaten knock of 32, before rain pushed the fourth unofficial match between India A and South Africa A to Thursday.

Shikhar Dhawan at the Sports Hub on Wednesday.   -  Special Arrangement

Shikhar Dhawan played an unbeaten knock of 32, before rain pushed the fourth unofficial match between India A and South Africa A to Thursday.

At the Sports Hub on Wednesday, two rain interruptions pushed the contest to the reserve day with India A needing another 137 runs to win off 17.2 overs. Chasing 193 in 25 overs, India A was 56 for one in 7.4 overs, when rain stopped play for the second time, forcing the umpires to call it a day. In the morning, the wet outfield delayed the start by more than an hour and the match was reduced to 43 overs affair.

READ: Pandey, Dube help India A take unassailable 3-0 lead

Put in to bat, the South Africans enjoyed their best start of the series, with Mathew Bertzkee -- who opened the batting for the first time -- and Reeza Hendricks putting up a 50-run stand in quick time. However, Rahul Chahar provided India A the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing Bertzkee (25). He swept Chahar straight to Tushar Deshpande at square leg fence.

Captain Temba Bavuma played fluently and rotated the strike while Hendricks played the big shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. South Africa was comfortably placed at 108 for one off 22 overs when rain interrupted play for the first time. After a three-hour delay, the match restarted and it was reduced to a 25-over affair.

Bavuma retired hurt and his replacement Anrich Klaasen took 18 runs from an Ishan Porel over. But Tushar Deshpande bowled a splendid last over and restricted South Africa to just a single.  The target for India was revised to 193.

For India A, Shubman Gill struck two pleasing boundaries off Beuran Hendricks' first over to start the chase positively. However, he pulled Nortje straight to Marco Jansen at fine leg in the next over.

Dhawan swished and missed a few times but he also played a few delectable shots to  keep the pressure. At the other end, Prashant Chopra was all at sea and thankfully for him the rain came at the right time to stop the match.

Brief scores

South Africa A 137 for 1 in 25 overs (Reeza Hendricks 60, Matthew Breetzke 25, Heinrich Klaasen 21 not out, Rahul Chahar 1/18) vs India A’56 for 1 in 7.4 overs (S Dhawan 34 batting).