Cape Town - Reeza Hendricks hit a century in the first unofficial ODI against India 'A' at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, but it was not enough to prevent South Africa 'A' going down by 69 runs.
It was a massive statement from the 30-year-old Hendricks, who would have been gutted to miss out on a place in the squad for this year's World Cup in England, where the Proteas limped to a seventh place finish.
Hendricks was eventually out for 110 (108) in an effort to secure SA 'A' an unlikely win, but they had simply been too expensive with the ball to stand a chance.
Having won the toss with the match reduced to 47 overs each because of a late start, SA 'A' captain Temba Bavuma opted to field first and it looked to have been the right decision for much of the Indian innings.
The hosts were struggling at 206/6 at one stage, but an undefeated 121-run stand for the seventh wicket between Shivam Dube (79* off 60) and Axar Patel (60* off 36) catapulted them to 327/6 from their 47 overs.
Not many of the South African bowlers came out with figures they would be proud of, but spinner Bjorn Fortuin's return of 2/40 (10) was the exception.
In reply, South Africa lost too many wickets up front with Janneman Malan (18 off 26), Matthew Breetzke (6 off 16) and Bavuma (8 off 18) all falling in quick succession to put the visitors on the back foot.
Hendricks and Khaya Zondo (30 off 37) then shared a 66-run stand for the fourth wicket, but the required run rate was climbing all the time and became unmanageable.
There was also an encouraging 58 (43) from Heinrich Klaasen, who is looking to play his way back into the Proteas set-up after his own World Cup omission.
In the end, though, the South Africans let it slip in the field and left themselves with too much to do in their chase as they finished on 258 (45).
The second unofficial ODI takes place on Saturday at the same venue.
Scores in brief:
India 'A' 327/6 in 47 overs (Dube 79*, Patel 60*, Fortuin 2/40, B Hendricks 2/89)
SA 'A' 258 in 45 overs (R Hendricks 110. Klaasen 58, Y Chahal 5/47)
India 'A' won by 69 runs