Pretoria, Aug 12: Opener Shikhar Dhawan created history by smashing the first ever double hundred in one-day 'A' cricket for a country during India A-South Africa A tri-series match here at the LC de Villiers Oval ground on Monday.
Dhawan's sensational knock of 248 and captain Cheteshwar Pujara's 109 not out (97 balls, 8x4) powered India A to a mammoth 433/3 in 50 overs.
In reply, the hosts came close but were bowled out for 394 in 48.4 overs. India A won by 39 runs and entered the final where they face Australia A on August 14. There were 2 centuries from South Africa A. Opener Reeza Hendricks made 106 and Vaughn van Jaarsveld hit 108. For India A, right-arm paceman Ishwar Pandey took 4/76 in 9 overs.
Dhawan, the left-hander from Delhi, reached the landmark in 132 balls with 24 boundaries and 4 sixes. He was finally dismissed for 248 off 150 balls. His 194-minute knock contained 30 boundaries and 7 sixes.
Dhawan's 248 is the second highest in List A (limited overs) history. 268 by Ali Brown, in a county match for Surrey against Glamorgan in 2002, is the highest. Dhawan's tally of 30 fours equalled Brown's record for most boundaries in a limited overs game.
The highest ever score by a batsman before today for any country in 'A' cricket was 173 not out by Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga against South Africa A in East London (2008), according to BCCI's official statistician Mohandas Menon.
Dhawan reached his 100 in 86 balls in the 27th over. He continued to plunder runs at will and moved to 150 in 107 deliveries. The 200 came in the 40th over when he took a single off left-arm paceman Beuran Hendricks. His record innings was ended by fast bowler Rusty Theron, caught by wicketkeeper Dane Vilas.
Sachin Tendulkar (200 not out) and Virender Sehwag (219) are the other two who have scored double hundreds in one-dayers for India. Both are the only batsmen in history to have achieved the feat in One Day Internationals.
India A have to win today's final league game to progress to the final on August 14. Australia A are already in the title clash. India rested Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu for today's match.
India A 433/3 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 248, Cheteshwar Pujara 109 not out, Murali Vijay 40) beat South Africa A 394 all out in 48.4 overs (Vaughn van Jaarsveld 108, Reeza Hendricks 106, Justin Ontong 49, Ishwar Pandey 4/76, Jaydev Unadkat 2/79)
Highest Limited Overs Individual Scores (Top 5)
268 - Ali Brown (England) for Surrey Vs Glamorgan (2002)
248 - Shikhar Dhawan (India) for India A Vs South Africa A (2013)
222* - Graeme Pollock (South Africa) for Eastern Province Vs Border (1974)
222 - Jamie How (New Zealand) for Central Districts Vs Northern Districts (2013)
219 - Virender Sehwag (India) for India Vs West Indies (2011)
South Africa A: Justin Ontong, Dane Vilas, Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Dean Elgar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Roelof van der Merwe, Rusty Theron, Dane Piedt, Hardus Viljoen, Beuran Hendricks.
India A: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Stuart Binny, Parvez Rasool, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ishwar Pandey, Jaydev Unadkat.