Australia A confirmed their place in the final of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) triangular series when they beat India A by 25 runs at the TUKS Oval in Pretoria on Sunday.
Nineties from Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell made certain that their side posted a competitive score of 7-310, proving too much for a star-studded India A outfit.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat first on another gloomy and windy day in the Administrative Capital.
Aaron Finch (27) shared a 53-run opening stand with Marsh before he was bowled by an outstanding delivery from Shahbaz Nadeem in the 14th over.
Nic Maddinson once again failed to make a start when his wicket followed 10 overs later, caught and bowled by Parvez Rasool.
It was the third-wicket partnership of Marsh and Maxwell that put Australia back on track.
They added 139 and both deserved centuries but were denied by Stuart Binny.
Marsh was bowled for 96 off107 balls in the 39th over, while Maxwell, to his obvious consternation, fell to the same bowler two overs later, losing his wicket for 93 off just 56 balls.
Binny struck once more in the over, removing Moises Henriques without scoring, followed by Tim Paine (3) in the 45th.
Nathan Coulter-Nile added 37 runs from 20 balls to help his side to its daunting score.
With a good score to defend, Australia’s bowlers could not underestimate the powerful Indian batting line-up.
Henriques and Josh Hazlewood took three wickets each to slow the run rate despite half-centuries from Rohit Sharma (61), Murali Vijay (60) and Cheteshwar Pujara (51).
Only two substantial partnerships were put together for the first and second wickets respectively between Sharma and Vijay (79) and then by Vijay and Pujara (78).
They were bowled out for 285 with Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh and Fawad Ahmed taking a wicket each.
India will play South Africa A on Monday for a place in the final which takes place on Wednesday.
Both sides have only one win to their credit and will have everything to play for.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 12 August, 2013 3:10AM AEST