India A tour of South Africa 2013: Shikhar Dhawan's murderous 248 helps India A reach final
Shikhar Dhawan‘s staggering knock of 248 off 150 deliveries helped India A defeat South Africa A by a margin of 39 runs in the penultimate List A match of the series at Pretoria, South Africa.
With Australia A having qualified for the finals already, this was literally a shoot out between these two teams. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay got the team off to an impressive start, taking India past 50 in just 5.5 overs.
With the scoreboard reading 91/0 at the end of eleven overs and Dhawan having gone past his 50, Murali Vijay was dismissed for 40 off 37 balls by Beuran Hendricks.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a half century in the previous game against Australia A in a losing cause, combined with Dhawan to put together a partnership of worth 285 runs in 200 balls.
Having reached his century in 86 deliveries, Dhawan went absolutely berserk as he smashed everything that came his way to reach his first List A double century in just 132 balls.
With more than 10 overs to go and India on 311/1 , the record for the highest score ever made by an individual batsman in list A cricket was within Dhawan’s reach. However, Dhawan fell 20 runs short of Alistair Brown’s 268, a score he achieved while playing for Surrey against Glamorgan.
Undeterred by the herculean task in front of them , South African openers started their chase in an aggressive fashion before Rilee Rossouw was dismissed for 43 in the 12th over with the score at 121.
Pujara then turned towards his spinners in an attempt to get a breakthrough which Shahbaz Nadeem duly delivered. Raina got rid of Dean Elgar soon after.
Reeza Hendricks slowed down as he approached his century and was dismissed after scoring 106 off 78 deliveries. Even though the home team failed to put together a big partnership thereafter, runs did come as they reached 200 in 24.2 overs.
With Vaughn Jaarsveld solid at one end and cameos from Justin Ontong and Van der Merwe, South Africa did entertain a possibility of achieving the improbable as they got as close as needing 58 in 28 deliveries.
But the hopes were shattered as Ishwar Pandey dismissed Jaarsveld for 108 and Van der Merwe in the 46th over.
Pandey finished with a match haul of four wickets as South Africa were all out for 394.