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Report: Ind A vs SA A, Match 8

Karn Sharma powers India to beat South Africa A in a thriller
Report: Ind A vs SA A, Match 8

India A registered their third win in the ongoing Quadrangular series in Australia by beating South Africa A by a wicket in Match No. 8 of the tournament at the Garden Oval in Darwin. Leggie Karn Sharma was the most successful bowler grabbing two for 35 in 10 overs and then he smashed a 16-ball-39 at crucial juncture to finish the match with a ball to spare.

Batting first, South Africa A scored 275 for eight in 50 overs with Rilee Russouw scoring 137 off 150 balls with 15 boundaries with next best score being 29 by Farhan Behardien.

Chasing the competitive score, skipper Robin Uthappa (46) and Unmukt Chand put up an 84-run opening stand until the former was trapped lbw by Justin Ontong. Chand carried on to score 53 while Vohra slammed 52 off 31 balls. But the middle-order caved in to the Marchant de Lange-led attack in quick succession.

After the fall of four quick wickets, Sanju Samson and Rishi Dhawan stitched a 44-run partnership to stem the fall of wickets and keep India A in the game. But the team faced another mini collapse as de Lange dismissed both batsmen with the score on 221. Sharma however, held his nerve to take India to the target.

Earlier, Rilee Rossouw ensured South Africa A comfortable total while batting first. The batsman made 137 runs even as wickets collapsed at the other end without much resistance. Dhawal Kulkarni dealt the first blow by sending back opener Heino Kuhn with just seven runs on the board. And 60 runs later Manan Vohra caught Reeza Hendricks of his own bowling for 24.

The India A attack then struck at regular intervals while the No 3 batsman held up one end. Kulkarni, Rishi Dhawan and Karn Sharma picked two wickets each while Parvez Rasool and Vohra took one apiece.

Brief scores: South Arica A 275/8 in 50 overs (R Rossouw 137, K Sharma 2/35, D Kulkarni 2/47) lost to India A 276/9 in 49.5 overs (U Chand 53, M Vohra 52, K Sharma 39*, M de Lange 3/71) by 1 wicket.

Prajakta Pawar

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Preview: England vs India, 3rd Test

1-0: India look to change that reading to their advantage


Third Test of the five-match series between India and England


July 27 to 31, 2014


The Rose Bowl, Southampton

The Teams


One thing that stood out in the second Test at Lord’s was “patience”. India displayed that feature in their game in plenty and reaped rich benefits of it. If Ajinkya Rahane sweat it out on a green top in the first innings to score a fighting ton, it was Murali Vijay who gave “leaving the ball” a whole new meaning in the second innings. Murali Vijay soaked up close to 314 balls in the Test match – that’s more than the length of the first innings in an ODI.

Batsmen apart, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma were a class apart as they ripped through the England batting order bowling according to plans. Plans were laid, the bowlers executed it – Ishant’s 7-wicket haul in the second innings being a prime example. India bouncing an opposition out overseas does not make headlines but when it did, it did feel sweet. Many didn’t vouch for Dhoni’s tactics trying to bounce the opposition out. Runs were leaked in the bargain and England slowly, but steadily inched towards the target. Dhoni and company persisted with the plan and patience had worked yet again. Amidst all the talk of patience, one man was a complete paradox – Ravindra Jadeja. His quick-fire half century too played a crucial part in India’s victory. India definitely hold the advantage going into the third Test, but will there be any tinkering in the line-up? Gautam Gambhir could be given a go ahead after Shikhar Dhawan’s dismal form in the first two Tests but will Dhoni back his opener for one more Test? These are little things for the Indian captain to think about, but Dhoni and his men will start the third Test with their noses in front.


Problems aplenty for England as they look for a guiding light that would change their fortunes in the third Test. They fell like nine pins on the final day of the second Test, and their batting methodology was termed “school-boyish”. Ironically it’s the new boys who are doing all the scoring for their side as Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Sam Robson and Moeen Ali have been key contributors with the bat for England till now. The big news for England though is that of Jos Buttler’s inclusion in place of Matt Prior who has decided to take a break for the rest of the summer after England’s defeat in Lord’s. Buttler is set to make his Test debut on Sunday and England would be looking for a new energy in the squad with his presence. Ben Stokes who has three ducks to his name in two Tests could make way for Chris Jordan in the starting eleven.

Key Players


Almost everyone seems to be amongst the runs in that Indian batting line-up except Virat Kohli. The one walking in to bat before Kohli seems to be getting the runs, but not the big ones that he is known for. Cheteshwar Pujara’s last four scores read 38, 55, 28 and 43 and the No.3 bat would want to convert those starts into big scores. Virat Kohli on the other hand has been silent for quite sometime and his teammates have hogged all the limelight with their notable contributions. You associate Kohli with performances and with a lull series so far, one would think that a big knock is just round the corner for Virat.


England need their senior players in captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell to come all guns blazing before it is too late in the series. Perhaps Bell could bank on his previous outing at The Rose Bowl, where he scored an unbeaten Test century against Sri Lanka in 2011. As for Cook, he received the backing of the entire team management to continue as England captain even when the cricketing know how wanted a new leader. It is time for Cook to silence his critics and there would be no better way than leading by example come Sunday.

Stat Overview

1. Average first innings score at Rose Bowl in first-class matches this season: 307

2. Average second innings score in first-class matches this season at Rose Bowl: 315*

* excluding incomplete innings

3. Result summary at Rose Bowl, Southampton:


Won by side batting 1st

Won by side batting 2nd


Test matches




First-class matches this season




4. Head-to-head:



Ind won

Eng won







in England





at Southampton


5. Form guide (most recent listed first):

India: Won, Drawn, Drawn, Lost, Lost

England: Lost, Drawn, Lost, Drawn, Lost

The Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (C & WK), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh.

England (3rd Test): Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

Anand Subramaniam & Rajneesh Gupta

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