Shreyas Iyer Leads India to thumping victory in Tri Series Final against South Africa A
‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ - and it could not have been truer in this case. India A’s encounter against South Africa A in the final of the triangular series brought the best out of Shreyas Iyer. The right-handed opening batsman from Mumbai stormed his way to an unbeaten knock of 140 runs in 131 balls.
The innings paved the way for India A’s victory over the Proteas as they romped home with 19 balls to spare and seven wickets remaining in hand. South Africa set up a challenging total of 267/7 in their 50 overs courtesy a superlative ton by Farhan Behardien. India, without much fuss, traced the target down to pocket the final.
Farhan Behardien's effort goes in vain
Generally teams prefer to put runs on the board in a big match. However, on an excellent batting wicket at Pretoria, Manish Pandey won the toss and decided to have a crack at the South African batsmen. The decision did pay dividends as the Proteas slumped to 32/3 after 8.4 overs.
Shardul Thakur and Siddharth Kaul ripped the top order apart in the first power-play as Henry Davids, Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen perished cheaply. The onus was on skipper Khaya Zondo and Behardein to stage a comeback.
In 108 balls the partnership compiled 80 runs and injected some momentum into the Proteas innings. Nevertheless, South Africa lost back to back wickets - skipper Khaya Zondo and Willem Mulder to find themselves 5 wickets down with 115 runs on the board.
Nevertheless, Dwayne Pretorious and Farhan Behardein took the Indian bowlers by the scruff of the neck and piled on a stand of 101 runs in 105 balls at almost a run-a-ball. Behardein, eventually registered his ton in the final over of the innings.
Some lusty blows in the death overs by Aaron Phangiso and Dane Paterson ensured that South Africa posts a decent total.
For India, Shardul Thakur was the pick of the bowlers with a spell of 10-0-52-3. Chasing 268, India found themselves in all sorts of bother after losing both their openers in Sanju Samson and Karun Nair for low scores within the first six overs.
The Shreyas Iyer Show
The stage was set for Shreyas Iyer to manifest his stupendous talent with the willow and he didn’t disappoint one bit.
He, along with Vijay Shankar, took the South African bowling to the cleaners. Together they put on a stand 141 runs in 171 balls and took the sting out of the Proteas bowling line up.
Afterwards Manish Pandey joined in and with along with yer, took the Indian team over the finishing line with sheer ease. Shreyas Iyer, quite rightfully became the Man of the Match for his scintillating knock. The two teams now be meeting at Benoni for an unofficial Test series on August 12.
While India will look to carry forward their good form, the Proteas will look to make amends for a disappointing show in the Finals.