Captain Shreyas Iyer and Ambati Rayudu’s crucial half-centuries and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s three wickets helped India ‘A’ claim an emphatic 124-run victory over South Africa ‘A’ in the Quadrangular Series third place play-off in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The defeat marks the end of the ‘A’ series tour for South Africa following their two-match unofficial Test series earlier this month.
Iyer (67 off 70 balls) and Rayudu (66 off 88) combined for a vital 130-run, third-wicket stand after they found themselves two wickets down for 41 runs in the 14th over. A handful of smaller, but no less important contributions from Nitish Rana (30), Sanju Samson (26), Krunal Pandya (24) and Ravikumar Samarth (23) saw the hosts post a substantial 275/7 at the end of their allotted overs. Beuran Hendricks was the pick of the bowlers with 3/39 with Robbie Frylinck chipping in with 2/35.
It was a disappointing batting display from the visiting side after their exciting four-wicket win against the same side on Monday. This time around, no half-centuries were reached as Suneran Muthusamy top scored with 40 runs from 51 deliveries. Farhaan Behardien and Pieter Malan added 38 and 30 runs respectively, but it was downhill from there as three ducks and three scores of less than 10 runs added to the tourists’ frustrations.
Kumar on an exciting return from injury led the attack picking up 3/33 and was backed up well by Manyak Markande (2/30) and Deepak Chahar (2/31) during the South African reply, ensuring the visitors were restricted to 151 with a little under 13 overs to spare.
Khaya Zondo ended the Quadrangular Series as South African’s leading run-scorer with 132 at an average of 33.00 with Dane Paterson the leading wicket taker seven scalps including his career-best List A figures of 5/19 in the last round-robin clash against the same opponents.