Reeza Hendricks hit 110 off just 108 balls (12x4, 1x6) for South Africa A against India A on Thursday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

If ever Reeza Hendricks needed to make a statement, it was on Thursday in Trivandrum, India for the South Africa A team.

Having turned 30 just two weeks ago, the right-hander may have been a crossroads of sorts in his cricket career.

He had missed out on Proteas selection for the World Cup, which was arguably the toughest time of his journey at the highest level.

Many observers felt that it was a harsh call, with Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla the beneficiaries.

Both those players didn’t make the necessary impact as the South Africans endured a disastrous campaign in the UK, where they missed out on the semi-finals.

It would’ve been understandable if Hendricks wanted to pack up his bat, pads and gloves and sign a Kolpak deal (before that option closes shortly) to play in the UK, or be a T20 specialist and earn big bucks around the globe.

Instead, the opener from Kimberley has remained in Mzansi, and showed his determination by scoring a century for SA A against India.

In faraway Kerala state, Hendricks produced a knock of 110 off just 108 balls (12x4, 1x6), but he had little support as the visitors were dismissed for 258 in 45 overs of a match reduced to 47 overs per side due to rain to go down by 69 runs.

SA A were chasing 328 for victory after India A finished on 327/6 in 47 overs, which was highlighted by a superb unbeaten seventh-wicket partnership of 121 between Shivam Dube (79 off 60 balls, 3x4, 6x6) and Axar Patel (60 off 36 balls, 6x4, 3x6) saw the hosts recover from 206/6.

Left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin was the stand-out SA A bowler with 2/40 in 10 overs, but the likes of Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortjé and George Linde all conceded more than seven runs per over.

SA A were in trouble early on at 81/3, with Janneman Malan (18), Matthew Breetzke (6) and captain Temba Bavuma (8) all falling cheaply.

Khaya Zondo (30) and Heinrich Klaasen (58) tried to rescue the situation with Hendricks, but they were unable to stick around long enough.

Star Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the chief destroyer, claiming 5/47 in 10 overs, while Patel also took 2/39 in eight overs.

The second match of the five-match one-day series takes place at the same venue on Saturday.


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