• SA A stumble at first hurdle

    South Africa A kicked off their tour of India with a nine-wicket defeat to Australia A in the first match of a triangular series in Chennai on Wednesday.

    After winning the toss and batting first, South Africa started well to get to 73-0 before wickets started falling at regular intervals to limit the total to 171 in 48.4 overs.

    Usman Khawaja (73 off 82 balls, 9 fours) and Joe Burns (63 not out off 91 balls, 6 fours and a six) shared an opening stand of 142 in 26.2 overs to finish the match as a contest before Burns and Travis Head added an unbroken 33 in 4.4 overs to round off an emphatic victory for Australia.

    Earlier Dean Elgar (28) and Reeza Hendricks (43) got South Africa off to a great start as they shared an opening stand of 73 before Elgar fell to Cameron Boyce (2-34 in 10 overs).

    Cody Chetty (8), Khaya Zondo (21) and Dane Vilas (8) all fell cheaply as Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-31) struck twice in one over to rip through the middle order.

    ‘Seven no balls is a no-no in cricket. Extremely disappointed but credit to Australia’s bowlers,’ Elgar said.

    Hardus Viljoen (1nb, 2w), Beuran Hendricks (3nb, 1w), Wayne Parnell (1nb), Eddie Leie (2nb) and Elgar (1w) were all guilty of giving away extras.

    Australia did have the advantage of having just come off a two-match Test series against India A while the South Africans have come out of a wintry Pretoria but the latter will have to hit their straps quickly to get back into the series. The margin of defeat has left them with a heavy negative run rate that will impact on their chances of reaching the final.

    South Africa A play their next game against India A on Sunday in Chennai.

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