An unbeaten 93 by Manish Pandey led India A to a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa A in the fifth match of their 50-over tri-series match at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria on Thursday (August 3).
Chasing a stiff target of 267, India were driven by Pandey’s well-timed knock and Sanju Samson’s steady 89-ball 68. Krunal Pandya, too, chipped in with a 15-ball 25 late in the innings as India crossed the line with just two balls to spare. The result meant Heinrich Klaasen’s 108-ball 127 for South Africa went in vain.
Having opted to field, India bowled out South Africa for 266 in 48.2 overs with Shardul Thakur (4 for 35) and Siddarth Kaul (3 for 41) doing the bulk of the damage. It could have been a lot worse for South Africa, who were 65 for 5, and then 128 for 6, had Klaasen’s century and Willem Mulder’s 66 from No. 8 not bailed them out.
After Thakur and Kaul’s initial burst left South Africa reeling, Klaasen and Mulder shared a 111-run stand for the seventh wicket to bring the innings back on track. Once Klaasen fell in the 44th over, Thakur returned to run through the tail.
India slipped to 15 for 2 in the chase with Shreyas Iyer and Vijay Shankar falling early. Rishabh Pant started well before falling for 20 but Samson set a good platform with a half-century.
Once Samson fell in the 28th over, India kept losing wickets to slip to 227 for 7. However, Pandey, the Indian captain, was playing a steady hand and once he got Pandya for company, the runs started to flow. Pandya played an aggreesive hand to take India within five runs of a win when there was a slight twist, with Pandya and Kaul, the No. 10, falling in the space of four balls.
It left India with two runs to win off nine balls with one wicket in hand, but Mohammed Siraj, the No. 11, help his nerve to take the side past the line.
The win took India to ten points from three games, the same as South Africa, who have a game in hand, with Afghanistan A, the third team in the fray, yet to pick up a point in three games.
Brief Scores: South Africa A 266 in 48.2 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 127, Willem Mulder 66; Shardul Thakur 4-35, Siddarth Kaul 3-41) lost to India A 267/9 in 49.4 overs (Sanju Samson 68, Manish Pandey 93 n.o., Krunal Pandya 25; Junior Dala 3-56, Tabraiz Shamsi 3-55, Aaron Phangiso 2-58) by 1 wicket.