Pretoria: India A were back to winning ways as they defeated hosts South Africa `A` by 18 runs via Duckworth Lewis Method in the second round robin encounter of the tri-series tournament between `A` teams.
Having lost to Australia `A` in the opening game, Cheteshwar Pujara`s side got full points from the game that was curtailed to 38-overs-a-side due to rain delay.
Put into bat, India scored a commendable 309 for five in 38 overs due to half-centuries by the quartet of Shikhar Dhawan (85), Rohit Sharma (65), Suresh Raina (60) and Ambati Rayudu (57).
In reply, South Africa `A` scored 258 for five in 34.4 overs when rain stopped play. The D/L par score at that point of time was 276 which ensured that India went home winners by 18 runs in a high-scoring game at the LC de Villiers Oval.
Talented Jammu and Kashmir off-spinner Perveez Rasool (2/47 in 6 overs), who was ignored by the team management during the recent ODI series in Zimbabwe, made an impact as he got to play his first game of the series.
In his very second over, he removed the two rampaging openers Reeza Hendricks (30, 31 balls, 4x4) and Rilee Rossouw (47, 33 balls, 5x4, 2x6) who had added 77 runs in 10 overs to start the chase in right earnest by hammering fast bowler Mohammed Shami (0/65 in 6.4 overs) who was pretty expensive on the day.
Rasool first bowled Hendricks and then bowled a straighter one that caught left-handed Rossouw plumb in-front.
From 78/0, South Africa were 78 for two but Dean Elgar (84, 72 balls, 7x4, 2x6) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (69, 61 balls, 5x4, 3x6) didn`t let the tempo drop as they added 149 runs in 21 overs at an average of over seven runs per over.
It was left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem`s (2/49 in 7 overs) second spell that turned the tables as he castled Jaarsveld who went for a wild slog and then removed Elgar who was caught by Jaydev Unadkat.
In between, Unadkat removed rival captain Justin Ontong (4) as South Africa slumped to 251 for five from relatively comfortable 228 for two. The three wickets also affected the D/L par score which shot up and proved crucial in the final context of the match.
Earlier, after being put into bat, the Indian top-order yet again put up a good show with almost all the established players save skipper Cheteshwar Pujara contributing handsomely to team`s massive total of 309 for five in 38 overs.
Dhawan yet again blazed his way to 67-ball-85 with 10 boundaries and three sixes adding 140 runs in less than 20 overs with Rohit (65, 65 balls, 5x4, 2x6) scoring his second successive half-century in as many matches.
Both were dismissed by Ontong trying to attack the part-time off-spinner.
From 140 for no loss, it soon became 168 for three with skipper Pujara (9) being dismissed by fast bowler Hardus Viljoen.
Raina (60, 34 balls, 7x4, 2x6) and Rayudu (57, 38 balls, 5x4, 3x6) picked up from where they had left yesterday as they smashed 89 runs for the fourth wicket partnership in less than 10 overs which helped India surpass 300-run mark.
The two pacers Kyle Abbott (0/67 in eight overs) and Beuran Hendricks (0/67 in 8 overs) leaked runs during the initial overs. It was Dhawan who started the onslaught hit Hendricks for four boundaries in the very second over of the match. The Indians didn`t have to look back after that as they scored runs at a fair clip.
Brief Scores: India A 309/5 in 38 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 85, Rohit Sharma 65, Suresh Raina 60, Ambati Rayudu 57)
South Africa 258/5 in 34.4 overs (D/L Revised Target 277) (Dean Elgar 84, Vaughn van jaarsveld 69, Perveez Rasool 2/47, Shahbaz Nadeem 2/49). India A won by 18 runs via D/L Method.
Points: India A 4; South Africa A 0.