Local lad Sanju Samson hit a stroke-filled 48-ball 91 before bowlers put up a splendid show as India A cruised to a 36-run victory against South Africa A in a rain-affected game in Thiruvananthapuram. With the win, India A have won the series 4-1, with a number of players doing well for the team.
The entire series was marred by the rain and the last game of the series was no exception as it was reduced to a 20-over-a-side contest due to rain and a wet outfield. After winning the toss, Shreyas Iyer elected to bat but that proved to be a difficult decision as Beuran Hendricks pegged India A back by dismissing Prashant Chopra. With the scorecard being 2/1, Samson and Shikhar Dhawan joined hands to stage a fantastic recovery work that brought India A back into the game.
With Samson scoring runs freely as ever, Dhawan also didn't seem like having any monkey on his back as the pair added 135 runs in just over 12 overs. The former cracked seven sixes and six fours in the process while Dhawan smashed five fours and dispatched two deliveries into the stands to ensure India A had enough on the board to give bowlers a chance in what turned out to be a T20 game. Shreyas Iyer further contributed to the carnage by adding a 19-ball 36 that took India 'A' beyond 200 runs. Hendricks and George Linde shared two spoils each for the tourists.
While chasing down the target, South Africa 'A' lost Janneman Malan and Temba Bavuma early in the innings and were tottering at a score of 26 for 2 when Kyle Verreynne and Reeza Hendricks formed a good partnership. The duo took the innings to 95 for 2. At that juncture, Washington Sundar dislodged Verreynne to bring India A back in the contest.
Hendricks formed another useful partnership with Henrich Klaasen towards the back end of the innings so as to give the visitors a glimmer of hope of winning the game. However, with 62 runs required off 32 balls, Klaasen was dismissed by Tushar Deshpande before Rahul Chahar managed to send Hendricks back to the hut. The floodgates were opened as South Africa A slipped to their fourth loss in five games. The star of the show for India, however, was Shardul Thakur who returned with figures of 3 for 9 from three overs.