India A 270 for 3 (Iyer 140*, Shankar 72, Dala 2-49) beat South Africa A 267 for 7 (Behardien 101*, Pretorius 58, Thakur 3-52, Kaul 2-55) by seven wickets
File photo: Shreyas Iyer’s unbeaten century handed India a the series title © Cricket Australia/Getty Images
A quickfire unbeaten century from Shreyas Iyer and a half-century from Vijay Shankar steered India A to a seven-wicket win against South Africa A to seal the tri-series final in Pretoria. Iyer and Shankar put on 141 for the third wicket to eclipse Farhaan Behardien‘s century earlier in the day, when five wickets between Shardul Thakur and Siddarth Kaul had restricted the hosts to 267 for 7 in 50 overs.
India A were jolted early when Junior Dala removed openers Sanju Samson and Karun Nair in the first six overs, leaving them in trouble at 20 for 2. But Iyer, who had not scored a fifty earlier in the series, and Shankar, who had scored a duck in his previous match, joined forces to deny South Africa another wicket for more than 28 overs, while lifting India’s run rate towards five an over. Shankar fell for 72 off 86 after striking nine fours, before Manish Pandey joined Iyer, who went on to register his highest List A score of 140 off 131 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes. The fourth-wicket pair put on an unbroken 109 in only 12.3 overs to seal the win with 19 balls to spare. Pandey, with scores of 55, 41*, 86*, 93* and 32*, was named Man of the Series.
India A had capitalised on their decision to bowl when Kaul and Thakur cut through the top order and left South Africa A 32 for 3 in the ninth over. Khaya Zondo and Behardien steered them past 100 before No. 7 Dwaine Pretorius scored a quick 58 off 61 balls, which featured five fours and two sixes, to help them past 200. Behardien remained unbeaten on 101, having helped set India A a challenging target, but it wouldn’t prove enough against their middle order. Thakur ended with 3 for 52 and Kaul with 2 for 55.
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