New Delhi: Shikhar Dhawan scored a blazing century as India defeated South Africa comfortably by five wickets in a practice match ahead of the Emerging Players Tournament at the Sandgate University in Australia.
Chasing South Africa`s competitive 277 for seven, Dhawan used his long handle to great effect with a quickfire 112 that came off 88 balls, while Ajinkya Rahane (83 off 67) and Cheteshwar Pujara (63 off 52) gave him the perfect support from the other ends to take India home with more than 10 overs to spare.
Earlier, South Africa rode on Colin Ingram`s ton (130 off 133) and Davy Jacobs` (67 off 39) late pyrotechnics to post a competitive 277 for seven in 50 overs.
The duo shared 116 runs for the seventh wicket to take South Africa beyond the 250-run mark.
Fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers for India with figures of three for 30, while Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Dhawan scalped a wicket each.
India, however, did not have the perfect start to their run chase as they lost opener Abhinav Mukund (1) in the fourth ball of the innings, caught by Jacobs off Basheer Walters.
But Dhawan and Rahane then put on a match-winning 173-run stand to set the platform for a comfortable victory.
Dhawan struck as many as nine fours and six sixes during his stay at the crease while Rahane decorated his innings with six boundaries and four sixes.
Pujara too shone with the bat for India with a well-made 63 which was studded with seven fours and a six.
The South African bowling attack cut a sorry figure yesterday, as they failed to pose any serious threat to the Indian batting line-up.
Walters, Craig Alexander, Pierre Joubert and Daryn Smit shared the Indian wickets among themselves.