QUINTON DE KOCK had to be rushed into action by a South Africa A squad, ravaged by food poisoning, less than 24 hours after arriving in the country and responded with his ninth List A century in the tri-series match against India A at Chennai today.
Quinton de Kock, who was sent off to play for the South African A team in a bid to regain form, hit a century against India A, but it wasn’t enough for South Africa A to avoid an eight-wicket loss.
Dravid accepted their request and thus India A, instead of playing on Tuesday, will now play tomorrow against the Aussies. At one stage, India A batsman Mandeep Singh had to quickly wear the South Africa A cricket jersey and rush to the field after the visitors were reduced to a 10-man outfit. Coertzen would later nearly pull off a blinder off Mayank Agarwal at long-off but couldn’t control his catch. His effort earned him praise from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who was on air at that point of time.
Elgar was expensive in his eight overs, giving away 69 runs, though he picked up a wicket. “So I am happy that they have increased the distance of boundary ropes and that will also give spinners some chance to fight”, said Dravid during the flash interview.
It was India A’s first victory in the tri-series after they suffered an emphatic 119-run defeat to the Australians on Friday.
Though they are widely regarded for their batting prowess, Chand and Agarwal share an identical problem when it comes to building their innings. India A are now in contention for a place in the final with a match to go. South Africa “A” kept losing wickets at regular intervals, with Rishi Dhawan accounting for four wickets.
India A: Massachusetts Agarwal c Vilas b Tsotsobe 130, UBT Chand lbw b Elgar 90, MK Pandey not out 9, KK Nair not out 4. Agarwal took the backseat for a brief bit as Chand got stepped on the pedal, but he was back to being the aggressor as he raced to his century in the 31st over.
But the star for India A was undoubtedly Agarwal, whose 122-ball knock was laced with 16 fours and a six.
The fifth over, bowled by Tsotsobe, was another maiden but crucially he had the bad luck of seeing the other opener, Unmukt Chand, dropped twice in the space of four balls, first by Dane Vilas behind the stumps and then by De Kock at backward point.
However, once they had survived the initial period, it was tough to halt the Chand and Agarwal juggernaut. Fall of wickets: 1-219, 2-243.