Inspired by Dane Paterson’s first five-wicket haul in one-day matches, South Africa bounced back from two losses to beat India A by four wickets in the quadrangular tournament in Bengaluru.
His blitz of five for 19 helped restrict India A to 157 after they had been sent in to bat; a target South Africa reached with 74 balls remaining.
Paterson, though, was given a push by the veteran medium-pacer Robbie Frylinck who helped decapitate the India innings with a pair of one-two blows. He and Paterson took out the openers in successive overs with seven runs on the board, and then repeated the effort with Nos three and four after just 31 runs had been scraped together.
Sisanda Magala and Malusi Siboto maintained the pressure, interrupting partnerships by taking two middle-order wickets until Sanju Samson and Deepak Chahar dug in for a stand of 64 in 10 overs for the seventh wicket.
That was broken by Paterson, helped by an excellent, leaping catch by Pieter Malan at point to dismiss Chahar for 38 off 42 balls, which included three fours and three sixes. Magala followed that up the following over, bowling Samson for 36, which exposed the tail for Paterson to complete his first five-wicket haul in 67 List-A matches.
Needing a run-rate of just 4.18 an over to get the job done, South Africa must have been feeling rather pleased with themselves. But it was not without its moments.
The South Africans lost four wickets for 34 runs, falling from 77-1 to 111-5; a slump initiated by a harsh call on Sarel Erwee. He was on 20 off 29 balls when trapped lbw by Mayank Markande with a delivery that pitched outside leg.
Malan was looking solid but his anchoring innings of 47 off 86 balls came to an end when he played on, in between Khaya Zondo (four) and Paterson (12) falling in short order.
A partnership of 30 by Senuran Muthusamy (16) and Farhaan Behardien (18) all but saw the team home.
They will now meet India A again in the third/fourth playoff after Australia produced a late blitz to beat India B.
In a rain-affected match, Australia needed 11 an over off the last four overs to reach the adjusted target of 247 off 40 overs. Usman Khawaja carried his bat to 101, but the impetus came from Jack Wildermuth, a novice with just 11 List A matches, who slammed 62 off 42 balls to see Australia over the line off the last ball of the match.
India B owed their total of 276-6 to an unbeaten 117 from captain Manesh Pandey, supported by Mayank Agarwal (36), Ishan Kishan (31) and Deepak Hooda (30).