India A succumb to 235-run loss to South Africa A in first four-day game
India A lost the first four-day match to South Africa A by 235 runs. The second game begins on Saturday.cricket Updated: Aug 15, 2017 19:16 IST
Following their impressive victory in the tri-series also involving Afghanistan A, India A could not carry on the momentum in the longer format as the Karun Nair-led side succumbed to a huge 235-run loss in the first four-day match against South Africa A at the Assupol Tuks Oval in Pretoria on Tuesday.
India A resumed Day 4 at 192/6, staring at a monumental target of 447, before capitulating for 211 to hand the home team a big victory.
The visitors needed 255 more runs to win with three wickets in hand as all-rounder Vijay Shankar could not bat again after he retired hurt in the first innings.
It took just 25 minutes for Junior Dala to clinch the required three wickets for South Africa A to win the unofficial Test as the fast bowler finished with remarkable figures of 5/36 in his 10.1-over spell.
Dala made quick work of the remaining batsmen, who could only add 19 runs to their tally before they were bowled out for 211.
Shahbaz Nadeem (28), Aniket Choudhary (0) and Mohammed Siraj (6) fell in the span of a few overs as the Indian lower order collapsed.
The match more or less tilted towards South Africa A when the visiting team were bowled out for 120, giving a first innings lead of 226 runs to the hosts.
Indian batsmen of the likes of Shreyas Iyer (31, 1), captain Karun Nair (15, 30) and wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan (0, 39) failed to rise up to the occasion.
No Indian batsman managed to even score a half-century in the match with Ankit Bawne being the highest scorer with 46 in the second innings.
South Africa A opener Stephen Cook was named the Man-of-the-Match for his 120 in the first innings that helped set up the victory for the hosts.
Cook was delighted with the manner in which his side achieved their victory and hopes the momentum gained will serve them in good stead in their second and last encounter in Potchefstroom starting this Saturday.
“We made it our mission to start the series off with a win, that was the big focus for the team and personal accolades should come after that. Obviously to contribute and to get some runs in a winning cause is always good and it’s always good to get the series off to a winning start. We know that the A side and even the Proteas’ time in England didn’t go too well, so it’s good to start our home summer on the front foot so we can build on to this momentum,” Cook said.
“We had a good team performance all the way around. I may have gotten the Man-of-the-Match award but there were a number of performances that contributed. Junior Dala this morning bowled with good pace and got the ball to reverse swing a bit and did what fast bowlers should do, which is to wrap up the tail, credit to him and credit to everyone. I mean, someone like Dane Piedt who maybe didn’t get the wickets in the second innings, put some good pressure and bowled well into the rough.”
Cook said that the mission for the second match at Senwes Park remains the same; to win the series.
“The guys will want to go 2-0 up and keep the momentum going. When you’ve gone through some tough times where you haven’t won games, it makes guys all the more hungry to do well when times are good. Potch will be a different challenge, I’m sure the Indian team will come back stronger,” he concluded.
Brief scores: South Africa A 346 and 220/5 declared beat India A 120 and 211 (Ankit Bawne 46, Ishant Kishan 39; Junior Dala 5/36, Andile Phehlukwayo 2/21).
First Published: Aug 15, 2017 17:35 IST