Sanju Samson stars in India-A’s convincing win

The visitors come up with a timid show in a truncated contest

Sanju Samson made atonement in front of his home crowd and his splendid knock of 91 set up India-A’s fourth win against South Africa-A in the fifth unofficial one-day match here on Thursday.

Heavy rain in the morning and wet outfield turned the 50-overs contest into a T20 affair.

Chasing a stiff target of 205 off 20 overs, the visitors again put up a timid show to make 168 to give India-A victory by 36 runs

Sanju walked in after opener Prashant Chopra (2) fell in the first over. He got into his groove early and slammed Lutho Sipamla over midwicket for his first boundary.

Dhawan’s support role

Shikhar Dhawan played the supporting role as Sanju tore into the attack. Both Junior Dala and Marco Jansen bore the brunt of Sanjus attack as he raced to his fifty off 27 balls. A century was for his taking but Sanju holed out to Janneman Malan at sweeper cover off George Linde.

Shikhar Dhawan (51) was circumspect after taking a hit on the neck as he tried to play the ramp shot off Beuran Hendricks. ‘However, he slowly found his rhythm to reach his second consecutive fifty. He fell soon after, charging at spinner Linde.

But his 137-run stand with Sanju for the second wicket flattened the visitors. Captain Shreyas Iyer cameo’s enabled the hosts set the visitors a daunting target.

Early wickets

The South Africa-A chase was scuppered by the fall of early wickets. However, Kyle Verreynne and Reeza Hendricks took on the Indian spinners to raise hopes.

Kyle (44) played a few audacious strokes before Washington Sundar had him caught at deep to end the threatening third-wicket stand. Reeza Hendricks played well for his half-century but didnt get enough support from his teammates. ‘

The Indian medium-pacers were incisive at the death and brought a swift end to the innings.

Sanju relieved

Sanju Samson was a relieved man after his match-winning knock of 91.

“I have been working hard on my game in the last four months and it was one of those days when everything fell in place.

“I should thank the team management for promoting me. I felt good when I started timing the ball well early in the innings. It was an important knock for me and I am a little disappointed that I couldn’t score a hundred. I hope to continue this form and score many more runs in the coming season,” he said.

Sanju said batting with Shikhar Dhawan eased his nerves.

“He put me at ease when I walked to the crease. He encouraged me to go for my shots and told me which bowlers I should attack. I really enjoyed batting with him. He is a very friendly person and I spend some nice time with him in the dressing room and I will never forget those moments,” said Sanju

The scores:

India-A: Prashant Chopra c Klaasen b Beuran Hendricks 2, Shikhar Dhawan c Verrenne b Linde 51, Sanju Samson c Malan b Linde 91, Shreyas Iyer c Reeza Hendricks b Beuran Hendricks 36, Shubman Gill (not out) 10, Shivam Dube (not out) 0; Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-7, nb-1): 14; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 204.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-137, 3-160, 4-202.

South Africa-A bowling: Beuran Hendricks 4-0-29-2, Lutho Sipamla 4-0-36-0, Marco Jansen 4-0-48-0, George Linde 4-0-43-2, Junior Dala 4-0-42-0.

South Africa-A: Janneman Malan c Shreyas b Shardul 16, Reeza Hendricks c Shreyas b Chahar 59, Temba Bavuma c Sanju b Porel 6, Kyle Verreynne c Shardul b Washington 44, Heinrich Klaasen c Shreyas b Deshpande 14, Sinethemba Qeshile c (sub) b Shardul 16, George Linde c Gill b Dube 1, Marco Jansen b Shardul 0, Beuran Hendricks run out 1, Junior Dala c Gill b Washington 1, Lutho Sipamla (not out) 2; Extras (lb-3, w-3, nb-2): 8; Total (in 20 overs): 168.

Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-26, 3-95, 4-143, 5-148, 6-162, 7-162, 8-164, 9-164.

India-A bowling: Shardul Thakur 3-0-9-3, Ishan Porel 3-0-26-1, Tushar Deshpande 3-0-28-1, Rahul Chahar 4-0-38-1, Washington Sundar 4-0-39-2, Shivam Dube 3-0-25-1.

MoM: Sanju Samson.

India-A won by 36 runs to clinch five-match series 4-1.

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