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Australia had a good start to the game with openers Cameron Matt (44 off 35) and Stubbs Oscar (56 off 57) putting up a century opening stand, before Matt departed in the 12th over with the score reading 101. Wickets started tumbling after that in regular intervals, thanks to some tight bowling by the Indian unit. Sunil Ramesh was the pick of the bowlers, picking up two for 23 in his four overs, while Sonu Golkar and captain Ajay Reddy chipped in with a wicket each, to stem the Australian run flow.
India replied more than in kind with a century opening stand of their own, but at an even more heady pace. Irfan Diwan remained not out with 20 off 16 balls, but it was his opening partner Prakash, who really took the Australian attack to the cleaners. His sparkling innings before retiring hurt had 15 hits to the fence and one huge six.
The Aussie bowlers in-fact could not get any Indian wickets with the only wicket to fall, that of Sonu Golkar, being a run out. G. Dhinagaran helped close out the match along with Irfan.
Sri Lanka go on top
Over in Mumbai, at the MCA Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana, Sri Lanka overcame Bangladesh by eight wickets, to go on top of the points table with their third consecutive win in as many matches. Bangladesh after batting first had put on 146/7. In reply the Islanders reached 147/2 in the 16th over of their chase.
Openere Damith Sadruwan top scored for the victors with 53 off 48 balls, while Chandana Deshapriya also registered a half-century to and remained unbeaten with Damith, finishing with 53 runs off 29 balls. Murugan Mohanraja and Upul Sanjeewa were their most successful bowlers with two wickets apiece. For Bangladesh, keeper Mohammad Hasan top-scored with a fighting 39 off 44 balls.
Proteas get second win
In the day’s third match at the DDA Vasant Kunj Sports Complex in Delhi, South Africa registered their second win in four games, beating Nepal by 26 runs.
Riding on a 49-ball 65 by captain Buhle Bhidla, the Proteas scored 185 for eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Nepal in reply could only manage 159/4 after playing out the full quota of overs. Bharat Chaulagai top-scored for Nepal with an innings of 66 from 55 deliveries.
INDIA VS SOUTH AFRICA – St. Paul’s Ground, Kochi
AUSTRALIA VS BANGLADESH – SACHIN TENDULKAR GYMKHANA, MUMBAI