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Warm-UP T20: Mayank Agarwal’s scintillating knock helps India A oust South Africa

Mayank Agarwal continued with his blazing red-hot form as India A spoilt South Africa’s opening warm-up game, comfortably beating the visitors by eight wickets in the T20 game at New Delhi on Tuesday.

Chasing a challenging victory target of 190, the India A team, propelled by Mayank’s 49-ball-87 and his rollicking 119-run opening wicket stand with Manan Vohra (56), reached the target with two balls to spare. If JP Duminy (68 not out), Faf du Plessis (42 retd hurt) punished the Indian bowlers, the Indian opening duo was a notch better in dealing with the Proteas attack.

Especially, Mayank, who has practised a lot at the Airforce Sports Complex ground for Delhi Daredevils. His form in limited overs (List A and T20) for India A has been brilliant over the past two months and he would definitely fancy a chance of being in the 30-member probables list for World T20 next year.

Mayank and Manan’s century plus stand in 12.4 overs sealed the deal as the South African new ball bowlers found it difficult to bowl in humid conditions. Mayank, who has been on a roll in shorter formats, was a revelation once again as he tore apart the South African bowling.

On a pitch that had even bounce, seamers Kylie Abbott, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada failed to hit the right length. Both Manan and Mayank, the two IPL specialists, found it easy to deal with short of length deliveries as they cut and pulled with equal disdain.

The two leg-spinners Imran Tahir and Eddie Leie didn t find their length either and were repeatedly dispatched to the ropes. Mayank took a strong liking for Leie s friendly leg-breaks which he had also treated with disdain during last month’s A team tri-series.

Vohra was out after scoring 56 off 42 balls with eight fours and a six — his first significant T20 innings in last one year. Mayank however continued in company of Sanju Samson (31 batting), adding 52 for the second wicket.

Just when he was looking good for a century having reached 87 with 12 boundaries and two sixes, he was holed out in deep mid-wicket by David Miller off Merchant de Lange s bowling. He had done his job by then and skipper Mandeep Singh finished the job as South Africans didn’t exactly start their tour in the manner they would have hoped.