Ishan Kishan's stunning blitz with the bat blew South Africa 'A' off the park as hosts India won by two wickets with an over to spare. Earlier, India 'A' had restricted the Proteas to 162 in their 21 overs, with the spin trio of Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya bowling economically.
The Indian 'A' side led by Manish Pandey continued to impress as they beat the visiting South African team by two wickets to take a healthy 2-0 lead in the five-match unofficial ODI series. After rain played spoilsport and reduced the match to a 21-over contest, the Indian team won the toss and elected to bowl first in helpful conditions.
The Pandey-led side had the perfect start as both the Proteas openers were sent back to the hut with the score no more than 15. However, valuable contributions from Temba Bavuma (40), Khaya Zondo (24), Heinrich Klaasen (31) and George Linde (52) took the hosts to a competitive score of 162 in their quota of overs. While the Indian pacers had a dull outing, the spinners ensured that they put a lid on the scoring, as the trio of Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya had a combined economy rate of just 6.7, while also accounting for two of the wickets that fell.
In response, India 'A' had the worst start possible, with opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) falling yet again to left-armer Beuran Hendricks. Despite the top order batsmen Shubman Gill (21), Anmolpreet Singh (30) and Manish Pandey (13) getting off to starts, neither of them went on to convert, and it soon looked like the game was slipping away from the Men in Blue.
However, a scathing blitz from Jharkhand wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan (55) which included five fours and four sixes and supporting acts from Pandya (23*) and Axar (10) ensured that the hosts got home safely and raced to a 2-0 lead in the series. The third ODI will be played at Thiruvananthapuram on September 2nd where the hosts will be looking to seal a series win.
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