Pretoria (South Africa), Aug 9: India A went down by 7 runs to Australia A despite half centuries from Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu in the tri-series tournament here on Thursday (August 8).
India A were chasing a target of 299 in 50 overs. Rohit (66, 87 balls, 7x4), Raina (83, 79 balls, 7x4, 1x6) and Rayudu (70, 56 balls, 7x4, 2x6) kept them on track with fine knocks. With 23 needed off the final 24 balls and six wickets in hand, India A chocked towards the end.
When 16 runs were required off 12, Rayudu fell and in the same over Stuart Binny was out for a duck, turning the match towards Australia A. The 49th over, bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile was a double-wicket maiden and with 16 to win off final over, India A were kept to 7. It was so near yet so far for the visitors in their first match of the tour.
Coulter-Nile was the most successful bowler of the match with 3/37 in 10 overs with a maiden. Josh Hazlewood took 2/60 in 9 overs. Fawad Ahmed and Glenn Maxwell had one success each.
Earlier, Australia A were catapulted to 298/8 in 50 overs thanks to a blistering 79-ball 145 not out by all-rounder Maxwell. Struggling at 152/8 in 36.2 overs, Maxwell hit out at India A bowlers to remain unbeaten. He smashed 18 fours and 6 sixes.
Maxwell, in the company of No. 11 Hazlewood, put on 146 runs unfinished partnership for the ninth wicket. Maxwell's first 50 took 47 balls but he raced to next 50 off just 19 and further 45 off 13. This was Maxwell's highest score in List A cricket beating his previous best of 61.
Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem and Shikhar Dhawan took two wickets apiece. Jaydev Unadkat and Raina had one scalp each.
Eight of India A players in this game had played in the recently concluded Zimbabwe ODI series.
India A next face South Africa A today (August 9) at the same venue. The final is on August 14.
Brief scores: Australia A: 298/8 in 50 overs (Glenn Maxwell 145 not out, Nic Maddinson 52, Shikhar Dhawan 2/39, Shahbaaz Nadeem 2/42) beat India A: 291/8 in 50 overs (Suresh Raina 83, Ambati Rayudu 70, Rohit Sharma 66; Nathan Coulter-Mile 3-37).