Darwin (Australia): Young leg-spinner Karn Sharma's all-round exploits helped India A eked out a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa A team to reach closer to the title round in the Quadrangular ‘A' series here on Saturday.
Batting first, South Africa A scored 275 for eight in 50 overs with Rilee Russouw scoring 137 off 150 balls with 15 boundaries with next best score being 29 by Farhan Behardien.
Leggie Karn was the most successful bowler grabbing two for 35 in 10 overs and then smashed a 16-ball 39 at crucial juncture to finish the match with a ball to spare.
Karn hit four fours and two sixes hitting some lusty blows off pacers Merchant de Lange and Kagiso Rabada to snatch a victory after India A were reduced to 234 for eight from a relatively comfortable 152 for one.
There was a middle-order collapse after the top three including skipper Robin Uthappa (46), Unmukt Chand (52) and Manan Vohra (53) were out after getting starts.
The opening pair of Uthappa and Chand put on 84 while the second wicket partnership between Chand and Manan yielded 68.
While Chand was the slowest consuming 112 deliveries, it was Manan, who upped the ante during his 31—ball knock that had eight fours and a six.
Once the top three were dismissed, there was a middle—order with Manoj Tiwary (9), Kedar Jadhav (8), Sanju Samson (28) and Rishi Dhawan (15) getting out cheaply.
India A now have won three out of their four matches and have 15 points to their credit.
Brief Scores: South Africa A 275/8 in 50 overs (Rilee Russouw 137, Karn Sharma 2/35).
India A: 276/9 in 49.5 overs (Manan Vohra 53, Unmukt Chand 52, Karn Sharma 39 no). India A won by 1 wkt.
Points: India A 5; South Africa A 0.