Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras seamer, Beuran Hendricks, took a career-best 11 for 63 to steer South Africa A to a 121-run victory over India A at the Tuks Cricket Oval in Pretoria on Monday. SA A skittled India A out for 185 after tea on the final day to share the two match series 1-1.
Hendricks started the morning with the three quick wickets of Shahbaz Nadeem (5), Dinesh Karthik (0) and Ambati Rayudu (1) in the opening five overs, which left the visitors in trouble at 18 for five. Ajinkya Rahane (86) and Wriddhiman Saha (77 not out) batted for two sessions to put on a threatening sixth-wicket partnership of 160, which took India A to 177 for five, still needing 130 runs for victory.
It took an inspiring talk at the break to re-energise the players, with Hendricks and Simon Harmer (3/79) wrapping up the innings 30 minutes after tea.
Hendricks has gradually improved as the tour has progressed and saved his best performance for last, in front of the Proteas’ head coach Russell Domingo and a few national selectors who were present on Monday. This is his maiden 10-for and one he describes as the best performance of his career.
“I really just tried to keep it as simple as possible, I kept my mind clear and focused on hitting the deck hard,” the youngster from Kuils River said. “I’ve learnt that this is a different level, you need to be at your best at all times, there is no margin for error.”
The SA A players showed resilience and character to bounce back from a disappointing innings and 13 run loss in the first match in Rustenburg last week, and put in an improved performance, particularly the bowlers who showed impressive skill and consistency.
“There is no doubt that we were outplayed by the Indian bowlers and batsmen in the first match,” coach, Vincent Barnes said. “They had a lot more skill and they knew what to do, but sometimes your learn a lot more by watching how other people perform.
“We knew the conditions we were coming back to and it was important for us to execute the lessons we learnt from the last match, I feel we did that well.”
SA A captain, Justin Ontong, commended his players for the way they fought back after their disappointing performance in the first match.
“It was very important for us to win after the loss in Rustenburg last week,” Ontong said. “We needed a win against India especially because they have beaten us a few times. I’m happy about the character the boys showed to come back; in the first innings we were down and out at 13 for three and Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer really put their hands up. There have been some special performances from special characters.
“I’m sure from a national point of view the selectors will be happy about the fact that there were players who stood up to be taken note of,” he ended.