Indians edge South Africa A

2013-08-09 20:15
Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Half-centuries by Shikhar Dhawan (85*), Rohit Sharma (65), Suresh Raina (60) and Ambati Rayudu (57) set up a 18-run win via the Duckworth/Lewis method for India A in their second match of the triangular one-day series against South Africa A at the Tuks Oval on Friday.

The rain interrupted match ended due to bad light that preceded more rain in the late afternoon.

The overs were reduced to 38 per side after the start of play was delayed by the uncharacteristic showers for this time of year in the region.

India posted a magnificent 309/5 after being asked to bat by South Africa, with Dhawan leading the run-scoring with a superb knock of 85 off 67 balls. Hardus Viljoen and Justin Ontong took two wickets each, but could not stem the rapid flow of runs.

In reply, South Africa managed 258/5 before the match was called to a halt by the umpires. Reeza Hendricks and Riley Rossouw shared a 78-run opening partnership before Parvez Rasool struck twice in the 11th over, removing them both for 30 and 47 respectively.

Dean Elgar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld restored the innings, sharing a 149-run, third-wicket stand before the latter was bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem for 69.

Ontong lost his wicket for four in the 33rd over, followed by Elgar an over later for 84.

Dane Vilas (12*) and Roelof van der Merwe (4*) were just settling in when thunder clouds rolled in, bringing an end to the proceedings.

Ontong was disappointed that his side was unable to complete their innings and fight all the way to the last ball. He believes that anything is possible in the game of cricket and a special innings from one of his batsmen could have changed their fortunes.

“We had four more overs and needed around 50 runs. Anything is possible and on this wicket I believed we were still in with a good chance,” he said.

He admitted that a poor bowling performance upfront cost them unnecessary runs.

“I think we had a bad start with the bowling, too many loose balls upfront got them off to a flyer and put us on the back foot,” he continued.

“To chase 300 runs in 38 overs was always going to be a tough ask but Deano (Elgar) and Vaughn (van Jaarsveld) played very nicely. In the end it wasn’t enough.”

It will be business as usual for them as they take on Australia A in the second round of the series on Saturday.

“We will continue to give it our best shot no matter what the odds look like. Tomorrow is an important game for us and we will give the Aussies a run for their money,” Ontong concluded.

Read more on:    justin ontong  |  cricket

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