India A slam 309/5 in 38 overs as Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu score half-centuries

Shikhar Dhawan scored 85 off 67 deliveries © Getty Images (File Photo)

Aug 9, 2013

India A scored 309 for five in the third match of the tri-series against South Africa A at Pretoria on Friday. Late order surge by Suresh Raina (60 off 34 balls) and Ambati Rayudu (57 off 38 balls) helped India to reach the total in excess of 300 in 38-over game. Shikhar Dhawan (85 off 67 balls) and Rohit Sharma’s run-a-ball 65 helped India set up a solid foundation.

The highlight of the innings was a blistering start by India A openers who stitched together an alliance of 140. Dhawan  and Rohit prospered against South Africa A who chose to bowl first after winning the toss. Dhawan opened his account with a cover drive in the first over of the day bowled by Kyle Abbott.

In the next over bowled by Beuran Hendricks, Dhawan hit the first four balls for as many boundaries. India A scored 37 off the first five overs and Dhawan had hit eight boundaries upto that point. His batting partner Rohit was unbeaten on one off five deliveries. He then got into his groove with a late-cut that went to the third-man boundary. He then pulled the first change bowler Hardus Viljoen for a six over fine-leg.

Dhawan after his breathtaking start was content on taking singles. He then launches an assault on Hendricks in the 15th over of the innings by hitting a four and six in that over. In the next over Roelof van der Merwe was hit for a six and signs looked ominous for South Africa. The openers were targeting the bowlers — Ayabulele Gqamane was hit for 16 off his first over which included a six each from Dhawan and Rohit.

Disaster struck for India A in the first over after drinks when Dhawan fell to South Africa A captain Justin Ontong for 85. Ontong dismissed Rohit soon for 65 in the 24th over. In the next over India A captain Cheteshwar Pujara fell to Viljoen for nine.

Raina, batting at No 4 counterattacked and hit four boundaries in three overs. He then welcomed Abbott with a six in his comeback over. After Raina’s dismissal, Rayudu took over and hit some lusty blows in the end to help India A score a monumental total.

Brief scores:

India A 309 for 5 in 38 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 85, Rohit Sharma 65, Suresh Raina 60, Ambati Rayudu 57; Justin Ontong 2 for 27) vs South Africa A