This time there was a fight and Quinton de Kock again scored a hundred, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the South Africa A side from going down by 34 runs in their final ODI of the triangular series against India A on Thursday in Chennai.
The defeat, their fourth successive one on tour, bring to an end a miserable ODI series for the South Africans. At least this time there was an effort from the batsmen to reach the target of 372, but in the end it was too big, as the visitors finished on 337-6 in their 50 overs.
South Africa A had suffered heavy defeats in their previous three games, by nine wickets against Australia A, eight wickets against India A and 108 runs in the third game on Wednesday, against Australia A.
They have been thoroughly outplayed here and the only positive to be taken out of it has some national importance in the sense that Quinton de Kock, who was axed from the Proteas for their home series against New Zealand, is back among the runs after scoring a century in each of the two games he played.
His 113 off 86 on Thursday wasn’t enough to get his team over the line, but he will nonetheless be relieved to have found some sort of form again.
Mayank Agarwal (176 off 133 balls) was the chief destroyer for the Indians as he shared an opening stand of 106 with fellow opener Unmukt Chand (64) and a partnership of 203 runs with Manish Pandey (108 not out) which ultimately took the game away from the South Africans.
All the bowlers toiled hard as India A set a total of 371-3 in their 50 overs. De Kock played well for his hundred and was ably supported by Reeza Hendricks (76) and Khaya Zondo (86) but South Africa never really looked like reaching their target.
Had De Kock been there towards the end they might have pulled off something special, but once he departed after being caught behind, he took his team’s chances with him to the dressing room.
The batters have generally struggled in this series with the likes of Theunis de Bruyn (1) and Cody Chetty (run-out for 0) enduring a nightmare run (no pun intended) on this tour.
Zondo tried admirably until the end before he got out in the final over, but he never had the kind of batting firepower with him at the crease to cause a surprise upset.
The final of the triangular series between Australia A and India A will be played on Friday in Chennai.
South Africa A now turn their attention to the two-match unofficial Test Series against India A next week.
Picture: K Sivaraman