SA A opener Stephen Cook was chosen as the Man of the Series against India. Photo: @OfficialCSA via Twitter

Half-centuries by Ravikumar Samarth and Karun Nair saw them lead India A to a six-wicket victory against the South Africa A team in the final four-day match in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Opening batsman, Samarth hit a 90-ball 55 (six fours), while Nair hit 90 from 144 balls (13 fours) to get their side a comfortable win after chasing down the home side’s 224-run target, which ensured that the series was shared 1-1.

Other contributions with the bat came from Sudip Chatterjee (18 off 30), Shreyaz Iyer (15 off 18) and Ankit Bawne (32 not out) as the visitors stubbornly continued to pile on the runs after each wicket fell.

Dane Piedt was the pick of the South African bowlers, taking (2/75), with Andile Phehlukwayo (1/29) and Shaun von Berg (1/51) the only others to strike. 

Earlier in the day, Stephen Cook returned unbeaten on 70 off 196 balls (10 fours) as the rest of the batting order collapsed.

Phehlukwayo (29) fell off the first delivery of the day and after the dismissal of Von Berg (13), the hosts quickly lost Dane Piedt (4), Dane Paterson (6) and Duanne Olivier (0).

They lost a total of five wickets for 40 runs and were bowled out for 177. Omphile Ramela fell ill with a viral infection and did not bat.

India’s Ankit Rajpoot and Shahbaz Nadeem were the chief destroyers, returning final figures of 3/15 and 3/47 respectively. Krishnappa Gowtham added another scalp to his tally today to finish on 2/48.

South Africa A skipper Aiden Markram, while disappointed with the loss, was proud of his team’s performance in the series as a whole.

“It’s not fun losing a match,” he said. “The guys did their best, but things didn’t seem to gel as they did in Pretoria, but I’m still very proud of how they played the series as a whole.

“There’s been a lot of really good individual performances and a few bursts of brilliance from the side as a unit here in Potch (Potchefstroom).

“I hope that they can take the lessons learned during this tour back to their franchises and put them to good use during the season.”

Cricket South Africa