Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw and Cody Chetty helped South Africa A end their quadrangular series with a win on the weekend.
Playing in the third-fourth place playoff against the Australian National Performance Squad (NPS), SA A’s top order easily managed to chase down their target of 252, to win the clash by seven wickets.
The South Africans would have been confident going into the game after beating the same side by 27 runs just two days earlier. They were without star man Mthokozisi Shezi, who had taken six wickets in the earlier encounter, as he was being rested.
After winning the toss, the NPS started solidly thanks to a half-century from Alex Keath. He and Travis Head combined for a 72-run third-wicket partnership to lead their side to 130-3. However, theirs were the only two contributions of substance in a stuttering innings. The young side posted 252-9 in their 50 overs, a below-par total on a good batting track in Darwin.
Marchant de Lange, Beuran Hendricks and Hardus Viljoen were the pick of the bowlers this time around, with De Lange and Viljoen taking three sticks each, and Beuran Hendricks claiming two.
SA A’s innings got off to flyer thanks to Reeza Hendricks and Rossouw, who both scored at more than a run a ball, and piled on 138 for the first wicket. Rossouw was the first to go, for a 53-ball 69, but Chetty came in and picked up where he left off, hitting a fluent 55 from 58 balls.
Reeza Hendricks fell with the score on 178, and Vaughan van Jaarsveld scored just one, but Chetty and Farhaan Behardien (35) finished things off, reaching the target after 38.3 overs.
It was a positive way to end a tough quadrangular series for SA A, who struggled against the Australia A and India A squads.
They now move on to the four-day component of their tour Down Under, and start the first of two unofficial Tests against Australia A on Thursday 7 August in Townsville.