• Mixed results for SA A

    South Africa A have had an up and down tour of Australia so far, with one victory and one loss.

    The A side, led by veteran Cape Cobras batsman Justin Ontong, is currently in the middle of a quadrangular series against Australia A, India A, and the Australian National Performance Squad (NPS).

    They played their first fixture of the tour against the NPS on Sunday. Farhaan Behardien scored 48 runs and took 3-37 in eight overs to lead SA A to an 11-run victory.

    The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, scoring 212-9 in their 50-over match. Vaughn van Jaarsveld was the leading run-scorer with 58, and Simon Harmer (43) was the other batsman to make a noteworthy offering.

    Alex Keath and Jordan Silk made the only notable batting contributions for the NPS, scoring 44 and 39 respectively thanks to a confident South African bowling side that adjusted to local conditions impressively. Beuran Hendricks and Aaron Pangiso supported Behardien well, taking two wickets each to restrict the hosts to 201.

    In the second fixture of the tour, SA A came up against a quality Indian outift, and were undone by some good bowling by Dhawal Kulkarni.

    South Africa were restricted to 256 after they were set a target of 327 despite a five-wicket haul from Marchant de Lange (5-64). Manoj Tiwary and Manish Pandey were denied centuries by De Lange, who removed them for 93 and 91 respectfully.

    Unmukt Chand narrowly missed out on a half-century when he was dismissed by Simon Harmer for 47, while Ambati Rayudu added 32 off 20 balls to round off the notable performances of the innings. India finished their allotted overs on 326-7.

    In reply, Reeza Hendricks (52) was the only batsman to reach the half-century mark as he and Heino Kuhn (36) shared a 54-run opening stand. Skipper Justin Ontong scored 48 off 40 balls to help the side recover after losing Rilee Rossouw and Vaughn van Jaarsveld for 14 and nine respectively. Ontong went on to share a 64-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Farhaan Behardien (24) before Kulkarni sent the latter back to the hut.

    South Africa could not rustle up another major partnership to stem the falling wickets, losing Harmer for 10, but De Lange and Aaron Phangiso shared a commendable 35-run partnership for the eighth wicket before Kulkarni struck again.

    His fifth wicket came when Kagiso Rabada was stumped for a single, seeing South Africa all out for 256.

    SA A next play Australia A on Thursday at Palmerston. They will need a win as they are currently bottom of the series log. All four teams have registered just one win so far, but the South Africans are behind on run rate.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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