An excellent century by Reeza Hendricks was not enough for South Africa A as they suffered a lower order collapse on their way to a 69-run defeat in the opening one-day clash against India A at the Greenfield International Stadium in Trivandrum on Thursday.
The right-hander carved a fine 110 off 108 balls (12 fours, 1 six) – the top-score of a high-scoring 47 over-per-side affair – but it was a mere consolation after the tourists were bowled out for 258, chasing 328 in the first match of their month-long tour.
There was also an attacking half-century from Heinrich Klaasen (58 off 43 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes) as the two batsmen shared a 61-run partnership that had given the away side some hope in their chase.
But they subsequently collapsed from 208 for four in the 39th over to lose their last six wickets for just 50 runs.
A man all too familiar to South Africans, Yuzvendra Chahal, once again proved to be a key tormenter for the hosts, claiming five for 47 in 10 overs to leave them all out with two overs of the chase still remaining.
Before that, it was India’s lower order that propelled them to a powerful 327 for six after South Africa won the toss and initially did well after opting to bowl first.
They reduced the home side to 169 for five and then 206 for six thanks to an outstanding two for 40 from Bjorn Fortuin.
But Shivam Dube (79 off 60 balls, 3 fours, 6 sixes) and Axar Patel (60 off 36 balls, 6 fours, 3 sixes) shared in an unbroken 121-run seventh wicket stand that powered the Asians to a commanding total.
Beuran Hendriks (2/89), Anrich Nortje (1/64) and Junior Dala (1/62) were the other wicket-takers for the tourists.
Hendricks and Janneman Malan (18) provided a solid enough start to the chase, before Chahal struck on 38.
Matthew Breetzke (6) and Temba Bavuma (8) followed cheaply, but Khaya Zondo (30) then offered some support through a 66-run fourth-wicket partnership with the opener.
But after Klaasen and Hendricks added another 50-plus stand, Chahal – a man with 20 wickets in only six one-day internationals against the Standard Bank Proteas – made merry by running through the tail.
Match two of the five-match series takes place at the same venue in Kerala state on Saturday.
SA A one-day squad: Temba Bavuma (Imperial Lions, capt), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Kyle Verrynne (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Imperial Lions), Beuran Hendricks (Imperial Highveld Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Highveld Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans), George Linde (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Janneman Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Marco Jansen (VKB Knights), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Lutho Sipamla (Warriors).
SA A four-day squad: Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans, capt), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Lungi Ngidi (Multiply Titans), George Linde (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Pieter Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Eddie Moore (Warriors), Senuran Muthusamy (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Marco Jansen (VKB Knights), Dane Piedt (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Wiaan Mulder (Imperial Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans), Lutho Sipamla (Warriors), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).