'A' One-Day Quad-Series
Head leads way in Australia A victory
Skipper posts century as Aussies hold their nerve in 32-run win over South Africa A
25 August 2018, 09:52 PM AEST
A dominant all-round display from captain Travis Head against South Africa A handed Australia A their first win in the one-day Quadrangular Series in India on Saturday.
Head marshalled Australia A's top order with a dazzling 110 off 117 balls, belting 13 fours and a six as he led his side to 5-322 from their 50 overs.
The skipper then removed both openers with his off-spinners following a rapid first-wicket partnership as South Africa A suffered a dramatic collapse of 7-78.
Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3-40 from his 10 overs while Head picked up 2-25 from five in the 32-run win.
Proteas captain Khaya Zondo (117 off 104 balls) kept his side in the hunt with a terrific ton of his own, but was the final wicket to fall when he was run out trying to keep the No.11 off strike.
After the Aussies elected to bat first, Usman Khawaja (10) got the innings off to an unfortunate start when he was run out in strange fashion.
The Queenslander had been struck on the pads by burly paceman Robbie Frylinck and only casually attempted to return to his crease as South Africa A went up for an lbw appeal and slips fielder Sarel Erwee threw down the stumps. Television replays showed Khawaja had marginally failed to make his ground.
Fellow opener D'Arcy Short (49 off 56 balls) and Head nonetheless kicked on, bringing up Australia A's 100 in the 19th over before Short was out sweeping to leg-spinner Shaun Von Berg.
As Head anchored the innings, Marnus Labuschagne expertly played the aggressor at the other end and looked assured against the turning ball in his 67-ball 65.
His departure didn't deter the Aussies in launching their final assault, with Head reaching triple figures off 111 balls as he helped take 89 runs off the last 10 overs of the innings.
Test batsman Matthew Renshaw showed he's shed the 'dour opener' tag as he pummelled six fours in a 29-ball 42, while Ashton Agar hit the second of two sixes on the final ball of the innings.
South Africa A openers Erwee (37 off 37) and Gihahn Cloete (50 off 49) were untroubled by Australia A's new-ball attack, with pacemen Joel Paris, Chris Tremain and Jack Wildermuth all going at more than 6.5 runs per over in their initial spells.
But the Proteas crumbled once Head removed the pair, with veteran allrounder Farhaan Behardien becoming the second victim of a bizarre run out when he inexplicably set off as if controlled by video gamer still learning which is the 'run' button. The ball had only gone as far as Short at slip, who duly hit the timber.
Swepson then grabbed three wickets in 12 balls to leave South Africa A reeling at 7-167.
Zondo crashed seven sixes as Frylinck (30 off 41) hung around with his skipper in an 82-run eighth-wicket stand but the Australia A quicks returned to hold their nerve at the death.
The victory keeps Australia A in the hunt to make next Wednesday's final. Their final group-stage game is against India B on Monday.
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
17 August v India A: Match abandoned
19 August v South Africa A: Match abandoned
21 August v India B: Match abandoned
23 August v India A - lost by five wickets
25 August v South Africa A
27 August v India B
29 August - Quad-Series Final
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2-5 September v India A
8-11 September v India A