Shreyas Iyer’s 140 off 131 balls led India A to a seven-wicket victory against SA A in the Tri-Series final, despite an innings-saving ton by Farhaan Behardien.
Having topped the table leading into the match, South Africa A were put into bat and it seemed like the visitors made the correct decision as they toppled SA’s top three for 32 runs.
This brought Behardien to the crease as the Proteas batter joined his captain, Khaya Zondo, the pair sparking their side’s temporary recovery. Their 80-run partnership took the hosts past the 100 mark before the skipper lost his wicket on 39.
Promising young all-rounder, Wiaan Mulder, was next to go for one, but Behardien’s partnership with his ODI teammate, Dwaine Pretorius, swung the momentum back in SA’s favour as they went from 115-5 (27.5) to 216-5 by the 46th over.
Pretorius hit a 61-ball 58 before he became Shardul Thakur’s (3-52) second victim, the India seamer pivotal in throttling the hosts throughout their innings.
Behardien (101) charged on despite losing partners on the other end, as he reached his century off 113 balls and helped his side post 267-7 in their 50 overs.
India A had a similar start to their innings, but the visitors found themselves in a more difficult position than SA at 20-2 (5.5 overs) Junior Dala (2-49) the chief destroyer picking up the scalps of both India openers.
A heroic partnership between Iyer and Shankar brought their side back into the match, as the pair smashed 141 runs for the third wicket to help their side sail past 150.
Shankar was the third wicket to fall, however, after an 86-ball 72, as SA tried to squeeze India below the required run-rate.
Iyer continued his dominance and built a second dominant partnership, this time with his captain Manish Pandey.
He reached his hundred off 111 balls and strung together a 109-run partnership with Pandey (32) to help the visitors claim a seven-wicket victory.
Iyer’s 140 off 131 deliveries (11 fours and four sixes) earned him the Man of the Match award as India A were crowned Tri-Series champions.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images