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New Delhi: India ‘A’, led by Mayank Agarwal and Manan Vohra, sent a warning to the visiting South Africa by clinching an emphatic eight-wicket victory in a high-scoring T20 warm-up game at Palam Ground here on Tuesday afternoon.

Under the blazing sun, the 119-run opening stand between Agarwal (87, 49 balls, 12x4, 2x6) and Vohra (56, 42b, 8x4, 6x6) all but sealed India’s chase of a formidable 189/3 by South Africa, who had elected to bat on a grassy pitch.

Jean Paul Duminy led the Proteas charge with typical swashbuckling innings of 68 n.o. (32b, 2x4, 6x6) but that didn’t prove enough to stop India ‘A’ from running amok with two balls to spare in benign conditions.

With merely couple of days left for the Twenty20 series, the Proteas would be looking hard into this grim wake-up call. In the absence of its leading tearaways Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, the line-up of Kyle Abott, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Marchant de Lange rarely troubled the India ‘A’ side, which was without its regular players. Leg spinners Imran Tahir and Eddie Leie, too, were comfortably dealt with by the Indians. The fact the two went for 49 runs in the five overs between them doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the Proteas.

 Watched by the Indian selectors Saba Karim and Vikram Rathore, Vohra and Agarwal raised 110 runs by the 11th over. Duminy separated them when Vohra’s flick off the pads was caught by Farhaan Behardien. But Sanju Samson never allowed the momentum to cease. Agarwal was unlucky to miss out on century but by the time he left, Indian was on the threshold of victory, needing just 19 runs.

However, what South Africa couldn’t accomplish with the ball, they did with the bat. Their batsmen looked in good touch and clobbered the Indian seam attack of Anureet Singh and Rishi Dhawan. The spinners weren’t spared either, though the Proteas did survive a few edgy moments.

Quinton De Kock was sent back in the first over owing to a sharp throw from mid-on by Mandeep. AB de Villiers overcame a slow start before coming to his own and along with Faf du Plessis rustled up 87 runs for second wicket.

Du Plessis retired to make way for Duminy, who instantly ran through the bowling. The left-hander just peppered the long-on and mid-wicket area, his presence overshadowing De Villiers, who was caught off chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. One of his sixes went past the ground to the busy road, creating a tearing frenzy. It is such reception that awaits them during their three-month stay.


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Todays Epaper

Which men's cricket team will reach in the semifinal of ICC World Cup 2019?

Australia
India
England